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First steps towards independent taxation

22 November 2019

a graphic of a tax return
The Treasury Minister, Deputy Susie Pinel, has lodged a proposition to enable, for the first time, spouses and civil partners to share equal rights and responsibilities for their tax affairs.

The proposition marks the first step towards full independent taxation (where every person is responsible for their own tax affairs regardless of marital status) and represents the biggest reform of the personal tax system since Income Tax was introduced in 1928.

From 1 January 2021, both spouses and civil partners will be able to contact Revenue Jersey to discuss the couple’s tax affairs and update their tax information on a going forward basis.

In 2022 (for tax year of assessment 2021), the couple:
  • will still receive a joint return, but will both have rights to sign it
  • will have joint responsibility for completing and lodging it accurately and on time, and
  • will have joint liability for the payment of all personal income tax due by the couple.

From 2023 (for tax year of assessment 2022 onwards), independent taxation is expected to be introduced in Jersey with transitional rules for couples already married or in civil partnerships at that date.

Deputy Susie Pinel said: “This reform to married taxation is the first step towards fulfilling my commitment to reform Jersey’s personal income taxation and create an independent tax system that delivers equal treatment for all and no longer treats women as chattels.

Due to the impact that any sudden changes could have on islanders, a gradual approach towards independent taxation will ensure that we do not impose any unnecessary hardship on taxpayers. I expect to introduce a suitable form of independent taxation for the 2022 tax year of assessment."

Married couples and civil partners who prefer not to share these new joint rights and responsibilities will be able to elect for the “separate assessment” treatment that is currently available under the Income Tax Law – until such time as full independent taxation is available to them.

An island wide consultation was carried out earlier this year, the results of which will be published on the Government of Jersey.

Deputy Susie Pinel continued: “The consultation results indicate that the public desire a modern, personal income tax regime for Jersey and I’m very pleased to be lodging this proposition, which is an important step in that journey.” 

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