Monday 11 November 2019
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Jingle Bells, tax return hell...

Jingle Bells, tax return hell...

Monday 15 July 2019

Jingle Bells, tax return hell...


Some islanders could be waiting until at least Christmas this year to have their 2018 tax assessments back due to major delays in implementing a new system, the government has announced.

The news from Revenue Jersey comes following a total revamp of the tax system, which they said should make the process more efficient for islanders.

The tax overhaul aims to allow islanders to file their returns online in the future, but the extra work to set up a new computer system and digitising taxpayer records means that officers are behind schedule when it comes to processing the 2018 returns.

For regular taxpayers, the deadline for submitting returns was 31 May of this year and, ordinarily, these are transformed into assessments – effective tax rate notices – by October, but the timeline might be pushed back at least three months to cope with the backlog of work. This means that some islanders could be receiving their notices around Christmas.

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Pictured: The Tax Office is struggling to transform details of islanders' earnings into tax assessments on time.

Tax services will also be disrupted for the next few months. 

Richard Summersgill, Comptroller of Taxes, said: “As forewarned over the last year, we are running behind on processing tax returns because of the recent move to our new system. As we process each tax return, we are undertaking additional vital tasks to make sure that the new system holds as much information as possible about individual taxpayers. This is good for islanders in the long run, because it will improve the services they can access from Revenue Jersey.”

The department promises that, after this disruption, taxpayers will be able to access their tax assessments much more quickly next year after the department moves over to the new system.

Mr Summersgill continued: “We’re sorry that our services will be disrupted over the next few months. We understand that the delays are frustrating, but the new system will bring a positive benefit for the future: allowing islanders to file online from next year. Most customers who choose that option will receive their tax assessments within minutes.  

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Pictured: Richard Summersgill, Comptroller of Taxes.

“Islanders can help us to reduce service delays by not repeating requests or enquiries made at the help desk, by e-mail or telephone or in writing. We log all requests upon receipt, and they are dealt with in the order that we receive them, so there is no need to submit duplicates. Tax returns are also processed on the same basis, and our website will tell people which returns are currently being processed, based on the week of the year in which they were received.”

It’s not yet clear how the delay will impact the payment deadline which usually sits at the end of December. 

Anyone who has not received their tax assessment yet, but is worried about a change in their circumstances that they think may have a significant impact on their tax liability or ITIS rate, can ask for their ITIS rate to be recalculated here.

Islanders can check which returns are currently being processed by visiting the Revenue Jersey website.

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Posted by John Henwood on
We are required to file our tax returns by the due date - 31 May - and if we fail to do so, for whatever reason, we are penalised. Now the tax department can't meet the due date for returning our assessments. There's no point in penalising them, but one trusts they will not expect us to make payment as if our assessments had arrived on time.
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