Thousands of Jersey people sign petition calling for 2019 tax to be written off

Nearly 3,000 people have signed in support so far which means the petition is set to receive a Ministerial response. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Nearly three thousand people have signed a petition calling on Jersey's government to write off their 2019 income tax.

It follows an announcement by the Treasury Minister that everyone will be put on a pay as you earn tax system.

At the moment some 45,000 islanders are paying tax in arrears, also known as Prior Year Basis (PYB). Paying in arrears can create problems for those whose circumstances change, and find themselves unable to pay on the basis of what they earned the previous year.

The intention to move all islanders onto a Current Year Basis system was announced in last year's Government Plan, but the move has been accelerated due to the impact of Covid 19.In the announcement Deputy Pinel made it clear that everyone who pays in arrears will have to start paying back the tax they owe for 2019 by 2023.

Those who started the petition however, are unhappy with what it calls "unjust changes" for those who are struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government is seeking to move to current year basis whilst still holding taxpayers liable for what they owe for the previous year – in effect doubling their tax liability. Those with a £21,000 tax bill would be charged an additional £350 per month for 5 years. Their earnings needed to cover this payment would itself be taxed during the current year at 20%.

Petition

As over 1,000 people have signed the petition , it means the petition will receive a Ministerial response.