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Review of tax procedures for married women (FOI)

Review of tax procedures for married women (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 20 April 2018.


At a recent Jersey Youth Assembly held on Tuesday 27 March 2018, a student asked Senator Gorst about the Jersey Tax Department changing its current format in sending tax forms, tax bills and other tax documentation by default to the husband rather than separately to a husband and wife. Senator Gorst responded that this was already in hand with the Jersey Tax Department and a new format including tax calculations would need to be adjusted in the current systems used. Senator Gorst also stated that these changes would come at a cost.

Please can you advise me what the total estimated cost is for the Jersey Tax Department to make these changes.

The question was asked in this webcast at approximately 1 hour 32 minutes for ease of reference see the following link:

Youth Assembly podcast of 27 March 2018


Under Article 121 of the Income Tax (Jersey) Law 1961, the general rule is that where a woman is married and living with her husband, her income will be deemed to be his for income tax purposes, as with any resulting income tax liability. Correspondingly the Taxes Office sends tax forms and other tax documents to the husband in the context of married couples.

It is acknowledged that many people consider this basis of taxation to be antiquated. The Taxes Office is continuing its review of the personal tax system with a view to modernising the approach.

Looking at options such as independent taxation (taxing people individually on their own income), or household taxation (taxing cohabiting and married couples on their joint income), is a significant undertaking.

The necessary work is complex and detailed. Careful analysis is required in order to determine whether an equitable system can be developed which minimises the financial impact on taxpayers whilst maintaining yield for the Treasury.

The ‘costs’ referred to in Senator Gorst’s response are not additional administrative costs that will be incurred by the Taxes Office from a change in approach, but potentially additional income tax that will become payable by some taxpayers as a result of making fundamental changes to the tax system. For example, some taxpayers / households may pay more income tax under an alternative approach – say, independent taxation – than they would under the current approach.

The intention is that emerging findings from the review will be published in Budget 2019, (mid-October 2018) with recommendations within Budget 2020. Until that point, it is not possible to identify which taxpayers might bear this additional cost and how much it might be.

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