About the Commissioners of Appeal process
You can appeal to the Commissioners of Appeal if you want to challenge the taxes office over matters of fact or law. This is called a 'contentious appeal'.
The taxes office will also take 'delay' cases to the Commissioners if you have appealed assessments but haven't submitted the tax returns, business accounts or other relevant information to show the assessment is incorrect.
The Commissioners are independent of the taxes office and appeals are heard in private.
The powers of the Commissioners of Appeal
It's important to know what the commissioners can and can't do.
The commissioners can't change the law, they have to apply it as it stands, even if it leads to a decision that you think is unfair.
The commissioners can:
obtain expert advice in cases where they consider it necessary
postpone or adjourn the hearing of an appeal
issue a precept to obtain information
put questions to the appellant, their representative or the representative of the taxes office
summon and examine witnesses
conduct an appeal hearing in the manner considered most suitable
review their final determination
How to take an appeal to the commissioners
If you disagree with our decision, or interpretation of the law you must write in stating why you don't agree and that you wish to take your case to the Commissioners of Appeal.
If you disagree with a notice, you must have first appealed within the time limit stated on that notice.
How to appeal a notice issued by the taxes office
Internal case review
Before you take a contentious case to the commissioners, you should consider asking us to look again at the decision, as many disagreements can be settled without having to go to the commissioners.
We can provide an internal review of your dispute by an officer who will have had no previous involvement in your case.
Notification of meeting with the commissioners
If your appeal is to be decided at a meeting of the Commissioners of Appeal, you will receive a letter advising you of the time, date and venue of the meeting.
You must tell us immediately in writing if you can't attend and give the reasons why. We will tell you if your request to postpone the meeting has been accepted or not.
Having someone to speak for you
A representative can act on your behalf, for example a tax adviser, accountant or solicitor.
What to bring to the commissioners meeting
You must bring copies of all documents relevant to your appeal.
If the case is complex, we may send you a bundle of our documents before the meeting which you will also need to bring.
What happens at the commissioners meeting
The commissioners will ask you to present your case.
You or your representative should:
- explain what you think is wrong
- provide any evidence you have to support your case
Our representative will then present the taxes office case.
You can, if you wish, ask us to present our case first.
Questions can be asked by any party during the hearing, although the commissioners will decide how the meeting will be conducted and the order of any questions.
The commissioners' decision
You'll normally get the commissioners decision orally at the end of the hearing. However, in complex cases the commissioners' decision will be given in writing at a later date.
If either party does not accept the commissioners decision, an 'expression of dissatisfaction' must be made immediately.
If either party wants to take the appeal further, immediate notice must be given of an intention to appeal to the Royal Court.
They will then have 21 days to bring this appeal.
About the commissioners
Anyone who is resident in Jersey, has experience in financial matters, but isn't currently working in any trade, business or profession, can be appointed.
A commissioner must:
- be independent, impartial and confident
- possess common sense, integrity and patience
- have excellent communication skills
- give direction, take advice and share responsibility
- have the ability to understand the principles of income tax and GST
- be able to determine the issues put before them, in a way that's fair
Up to 11 commissioners can be appointed, but only three are required to hear a case.