The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), has noted recent press reports concerning circumstances surrounding the execution of a search warrant authorised by the courts at the behest of Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) at the offices of our member company Digicel.
The PSOJ is on record as supporting all lawful means of enforcing tax compliance among individuals and companies in Jamaica, and would encourage the tax authorities in Jamaica to continue their proactive approach to achieving this important objective. We would not therefore wish to comment on the merits or otherwise of this particular case, or the details of contentions made by either party, confident in the belief that due process through our court system will ultimately result in justice being served.
We would caution however against the apparently heavy-handed approach of the JCF who accompanied the TAJ on this occasion in support of their execution of the search warrant in question. It would seem to us for example that the use of high-powered weapons by JCF personnel accompanying TAJ on this occasion (or in any similar case) was neither necessary nor warranted in the circumstances. The choice to serve the warrant at 4:30PM on a Friday afternoon when the Company was unlikely to have access to any due process redress in the matter is also a cause of disquiet.
We encourage the TAJ to pursue their enforcement mandates firmly, fearlessly and energetically, but at all times and irrespective of the target of their investigations, to do so in a manner that is consistent with the principles of fairness, professionalism and due process.
Joseph M. Matalon, CD
Contact: Sandra A. C. Glasgow (Mrs.)
The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica
39 Hope Road, Kingston 10
Tel: 927-6931; Fax: 927-5137; E-mail: email@example.com
2012 MAY 10