Jersey tax office denies miscalculating islanders' tax rates

Jersey's tax office has denied miscalculating islanders' new tax rates, revealing that 9,500 2018 tax returns still need to be processed.

It says it has been contacted by a number of islanders who believe their rates have not been calculated correctly - however, it says there is no evidence to support those claims.

Instead, in many cases, it says taxpayers either simply did not realise they had tax outstanding from the previous year, or they have not understood the impact of changes in their personal circumstances.

However, one leading accountant says he has seen errors in ITIS assessments, leaving clients confused and worried by delays to 2018 tax bills.

I think the assessments are late, the assessments are wrong. The payment schedules are late, they're very very difficult to follow, assuming they've allocated all the payments correctly. And I think people are just getting very very frustrated.

JOHN SHENTON, TAX ACCOUNTANT

Islanders have also faced delays in receiving their 2018 tax return, with delays due to a digitisation of the tax system cited as the main cause of the problem.

The government says around 9,500 2018 returns have yet to be processed - with the tax office having to rely on 2017 data in some cases. It says while this can be 'frustrating', it is what it is legally bound to do in the circumstances.

There are a few reasons why Islanders might think that their taxes are wrong, because they are different to what they expected, including:  The new printed assessments generated by the new system are different to, and more detailed than, what Islanders are used to, and can be confusing. We are working to improve them so they are clearer and easier to understand.  Some of the Income Tax Instalment System (ITIS) data which employers and taxpayers have been sending to Revenue Jersey has errors in it, which the new system is picking up and reflecting in assessments. Examples include: o Taxpayers who have not updated their circumstances in good time. o A taxpayer (and employer) who have used an effective rate issued in 2014, which they have not updated since. o Taxpayers who have accrued arrears that they have not paid off, which the new system has picked up and included in the assessment.

Richard Summersgill, Comptroller of Revenue