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Minister responds to online petition

26 August 2020

The Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Susie Pinel, has today responded to an online petition calling for Prior Year Basis (PYB) taxpayers to have their 2019 tax liability written off. 

The petition was launched following a proposal to reform the tax system and move all taxpayers onto a Current Year Basis (CYB). The proposal to reform the tax system was included in the Government Plan 2020-2023, but has been brought forward to support Islanders who have seen their income fall as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

In her response to the petition, Deputy Pinel states that writing off the PYB tax liability for 2019:
  • Is not financially responsible as it would cause a £320 million loss to the public budget
  • Would reduce the public budget at a time when the Government is meeting significant additional costs to deal with COVID-19.
  • Unfairly disadvantages Islanders who pay their tax on a Current Year Basis, or who have already settled their 2019 tax liability.
Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Susie Pinel, said: “I understand that at a time of uncertainty, some people may be concerned about proposed changes to the way they pay their tax, and want to make their opinion heard. 

“However, I have brought forward this proposal not just to simplify the tax system, but also to support the estimated 30% of PYB taxpayers who have seen their 2020 income drop significantly, and who could struggle to settle their tax bill for 2019.

“While I appreciate Islanders’ concerns, it would be both unfair and financially imprudent to allow two-thirds of taxpayers to not pay their 2019 tax liability. I’d also urge them to raise these concerns through the feedback survey that is still available.”

The tax reform proposal will be debated by the States Assembly in the autumn.
Islanders can provide their feedback on the tax reform proposal until 2 September through the Government of Jersey website

The full response to the petition is available online. 

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