Self-Employed reminded to contribute to the NHT

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A self-employed man (photo: courtesy of Bidivine)

All self-employed persons are being reminded that they should be making regular contributions to the National Housing Trust (NHT) in order to benefit from the Trust’s homeownership loan facility. According to a media release, assistant general manager for corporate communications and public affairs at the NHT, Dwayne Berbick, issued the reminder during an interview on the Love 101 radio segment, ‘Good Morning Minister’, on 12 July.

Berbick said that every employed Jamaican should contribute two per cent of their monthly income to the NHT. “The compliance rate is not 100 per cent. It is not 90 [per cent]. In order to benefit from the NHT you must be a contributor, either as a Pay As You Earn (PAYE)… or if you are self-employed,” Berbick said.

Under the National Housing Trust Act, a self-employed person is someone gainfully occupied in Jamaica who, in relation to that occupation, is not employed by someone (other than himself/herself) or a company (that he/she does not own). Some categories of self-employed persons are those who are employed to registered companies as private consultants/contractors under a contract for service, directors of companies who are paid directors’ fees; domestic workers, gardeners, and local caregivers who work in the homes of their employers, as well as Jamaican citizens employed to embassies, United Nations (UN) agencies, high commissions, and consulates situated in Jamaica. Jamaicans who are working overseas on a work permit and are not a permanent resident or citizen of that country are also listed under this classification.

Outlining the registration procedure for self-employed contributors, Berbick said there is a compliance office in every NHT branch. “We have a branch or service centre in every parish, so if you are one such individual, you can go in and talk to a compliance officer and they will walk you through the process,” he added.

Contributors may or may not be Jamaican citizens. They must be above the age of 18 but not above the age of retirement and earning at least the minimum wage. Persons registering as self-employed are advised to visit the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) website,, for more information.

“The NHT Act says if you are between the ages of 18 and 65 and you are earning at least minimum wage you [should] contribute to the NHT. We do find that individuals are working longer or perhaps they may reach retirement and have some type of home ownership goal that they still want to pursue,” he explained. Berbick said the NHT allows contribution up to age 70 under those circumstances where an individual has reached retirement but is still interested in pursuing various home ownership goals. “You can contribute from your pension or if you have any [activity] on your own that brings in an income that is at least minimum wage,” he added. Persons in this category should complete the NHT’s ‘Voluntary Contributor’ application form to register.

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