The National Housing Trust (NHT) is encouraging employers who may now have outstanding NHT employee deductions, to pay up the contributions and to submit accurate and complete annual returns. Failure of employers to meet NHT compliance requirements breaches the NHT Act and prevents contributors affected from claiming their contributions refund or from being processed for NHT home loans.
The NHT advises that its efforts have historically been hampered by failure of employers to submit fully detailed annual returns each year and/or to pay over employee deductions to the Trust as required by the NHT Act.
NHT’s Managing Director, Mrs. Cecile Watson emphasized that: “It is incumbent on employers to pay over deductions on behalf of their employees and submit complete and detailed annual returns as a prerequisite for the employee to be paid contribution refunds and/or to receive an NHT benefit. An employer who is compliant is satisfying an important statutory requirement, but just as importantly, that employer is creating an opportunity for the employee to be one day eligible to own a home”.
NHT contributors are entitled to a refund of their contributions in the eighth year after the contributions were made. Therefore, as of January 1, 2011, the Trust will be processing refunds for 2003, and applications can be made anytime thereafter.
The Trust is also calling on employers to submit timely, complete and accurate annual returns, because this document is intended to identify the employee and tells exactly how much was deducted from each employee’s salary and paid over to the NHT. Without this document, the Trust is unable to allocate contributions it has received, to the respective employee’s account.
The NHT is also encouraging Employers and Employees to contact the Trust to find out about the status of their annual return and/or contributions payments, especially those for 2003. Alternatively, by visiting the NHT website at http://www.nht.gov.jm/refunds-advisory persons due refunds next year can find out if their records are incomplete.
The Trust also reminds employers that under the NHT Act, they are obliged to comply with NHT obligations, or they will be liable to pay a fine of $30,000 or three times the amount of unpaid contribution, whichever is greater. Additionally, late payments attract a fine of 20% per annum.
NHT remains committed to improving the customer experience in the contributions refund process and can do so more effectively with the cooperation of all employers.
For more information call: 1-888-225-5648 or visit the National Housing Trust website: www.nht.gov.jm