By Linda Straker
Pensioners are among persons who will benefit from an amendment to the Income Tax legislation, which provides for the money paid to them to be exempted from paying Income Tax even though the amount received could put them into the Income Tax threshold.
Government approved legislation in the House of Representatives last Friday that will provide for three different types of benefits from the National Insurance Scheme to be exempted from Income Tax.
Education Minister Anthony Boatswain presented the Income Tax amendment legislation to the House of Representatives and explained that the move will have a positive effect on the people who receive Survivor, Age and Employment Injury benefits.
“Mr Speaker, we consider these benefits to be significant enough, and in the interest of providing greater benefits to our people, they too should be included for exemption under the Income Tax act,” he told the members.
Economic Affairs Minister Oliver Joseph said that the action from Government is in keeping with its philosophy of taking care for the people. He explained that when a person is filing out the income tax return form, that person needs to list the NIS payments as income earned, and in the absence of the exemption legislation, a person would have been liable to pay tax on the earnings once it fell above the threshold to pay income tax.
“If you get pension from two different sources it will add up,” said Joseph, who said that a lot of pensioners are affected and will welcome the amendment to legislation. “We have listened to the voices of the people,” he said.
Legislation was already approved to exempt a number of other benefit payment from paying income tax. These include sickness, maternity, funeral, survivors and invalidity.