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Prior Year Basis survey results released

05 October 2020

The Government of Jersey has today released a report on the results of a survey into proposals to move all taxpayers to paying their tax on a Current Year Basis. 

Currently, around two-thirds of taxpayers pay their taxes on a Prior Year Basis (PYB), meaning that they are paying their 2019 tax liability in 2020. Under the proposals, changes would be made so that every Islander pays tax on their income in the year they receive it.

The survey, which ran between 3 August and 2 September, asked participants about their thoughts on the proposal, and their preferred methods to pay the 2019 PYB tax bill, which would be frozen under this proposal.  

From the 2,387 Islanders who completed the survey:
  • 52% of those who responded supported the change, and 38% were against the change
  • 42% of those surveyed supported PYB taxpayers paying their frozen 2019 tax bill over 5 to 10 years: 52% did not support this
  • 36% of respondents said they wanted to pay their 2019 tax bill over 10 years with monthly payments; ranking it first place in a list of options.
In addition, more than 1,400 free text comments were submitted, and the five most popular themes were:
  • Write-off the 2019 tax liability (partial or in full) – 544 mentions
  • Early redemption discount – 169 mentions
  • Remain on PYB / pay at retirement – 127 mentions
  • Disagree that the proposal is a stimulus measure – 95 mentions
  • Interest charge – 71 comments

The results of the survey will be used to inform the draft payment Regulations that will be published before the Amendment Law is debated in the States Assembly on 3 November.

In addition, the Government has commissioned independent company 4Inisght to conduct follow-up focus groups with some people who have completed the survey. The groups will take place during October and results of these groups will also be used to further shape the draft payment terms, as well as an affordability test that would support any taxpayers who are concerned that they cannot pay their liability without financial hardship. 

The draft payment term Regulations will be published before the Amendment Law debate takes place. The finalised payment term Regulations will be debated by the States Assembly in early 2021. 

Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Susie Pinel, said: “I’d like to thank all those people who took the time to respond to this survey and offer their views on this proposal.
“I know that tax is a highly emotive issue which concerns many Islanders, and I was keen they were given the opportunity to provide their views on the proposal.

“We’re going to be supplementing the survey findings with feedback from the demographically balanced focus groups. This will provide us with further insights as we prepare the draft payment Regulations. Drafting will continue up to the end of the year as we get full results back, but we will share a draft of the Regulations with States Members in late October, so they are as informed as possible ahead of the debate on 3 November.”

A full copy of the report is available on the Government of Jersey website
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