27 January 2020
The Minister for Treasury and Resources has issued the following statement:
“There has been a lot of media and social media comment about the operation of Jersey’s tax system in recent days. As the Minister accountable for the Treasury and Exchequer department, I wish to clarify some points.
“Online tax filing, which enables personal taxpayers to complete their 2019 tax return online, operates under exactly the same outdated tax legislation as the paper tax form. It does not change the rules relating to married women.
“These archaic tax rules need changing, and I am pleased that my proposals to update the legislation governing married women’s taxation will be debated in the States Assembly next week. I hope that States Members will support the reform of legislation that has been in place since the 1920s and bring Jersey’s tax rules in line with other countries. If we can unite on this issue, the first changes can be made to tax systems in time for the 2021 year of assessment.
“I accept the valid criticisms of some aspects of the taxes operation, which arise from operational problems about which Revenue Jersey has been notifying Islanders for months. Islanders deserve a high quality and timely service, and once again I would like to share the Comptroller of Revenue’s regret at the delay and the concern that it causes to Islanders whose returns have not yet been assessed.
“To recap, tax officers have had an enormous amount of additional work to do in 2019 to move from the 35-year-old ITAX system and to input information manually from thousands of paper files into our new Revenue Management System. In order to iron out some glitches, the new system went live a few months later than planned, but still within budget. The impact of this delay, and of staff shortages, is that the assessment of 2018 tax returns is still not complete.
“I have been receiving regular updates on the situation and what actions are being taken to clear the backlog, and I am very grateful to tax officers for the efforts they are putting into this work, while also implementing and adapting to the modern system.
“It is the new system that has enabled the Government to offer online filing for personal taxes and more than 600 people have already filed online so far. I urge all taxpayers who can use this new facility to do so.”