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READER LETTER: "I would venture that the island is losing tens of millions in GST"


Wednesday 02 December 2020

READER LETTER: "I would venture that the island is losing tens of millions in GST"

A reader has shared why they think the Government's decision to add GST to purchases over £135 will do little to raise them money, while increasing Customs' workload.

"The Government recently dropped the 'de minimis' value from £240 to £135. This still leaves many millions of pounds not collected because the Treasury thinks that collecting below the £135 value will exceed what is collected.

This drop will do nothing to increase government revenues as most individuals will order below the £135 value and again and again the next and subsequent days, ensuring no GST collection is made by the Treasury.

It is understood that Customs and the Ports authority are swamped by the arriving post, not to mention the shipping agents. The GST office work will likewise reduce.

amazon mobile online shopping

Pictured: The GST de minimis level was reduced in October, meaning online shoppers now have to pay the tax on online purchases over £135.

It was recently raised in a question in the States Chamber why every company shipping to Jersey is not required to register for GST. This means the shipper is responsible for collecting the GST and filing monthly (quarterly) returns with the GST office along with their payment.

All invoices should be required to show the VAT refunded as any shipment to Jersey is UK Duty Free. Customers should be better off as they will get the UK Vat off their cost but add 5% GST. The retailers could not complain that GST was not being paid.

This method would alleviate the burden on the Post Office and transport agents checking each parcel/letter for duty due. It would speed up the flow of goods and reduce Government costs.

I would venture that the island is losing tens of millions of pounds in GST.

Amazon is already set up to do this. Sky will take deduct VAT if asked but do not charge GST. Netflix is talking to the UK government about paying UK service taxes. Most shippers will accept such a system and, if they do not, return the goods at the shipper's expense.

The companies selling digital services will pay GST if they want to continue doing business in Jersey.

If the Treasury is worried about the computer system to deal with the work, buy a licence for the UK or a similar system which has worked for years.

It is not acceptable for the Government not to do this when it keeps asking for more money from taxpayers."

Bill White
Le Mont de Rozel, St. Martin

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