Plans to get tough on tax evasion

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Under a broad modernisation programme, the Taxes Office is also preparing to merge with colleagues in the Social Security contributions team to form one body called Revenue Jersey, with the customer service centre, currently located in Cyril Le Marquand House, due to be relocated to La Motte Street.

The move is intended to streamline the work of both revenue-collecting teams and bring them closer together, in a similar fashion to how the UK operates.

The Taxes Office is also to get tougher on tax-dodgers, with plans in place to pass laws so that civil penalties can be applied for tax evasion without going through the Royal Court and for interest to be charged over and above commercial rates on late tax payments.

Richard Summersgill, the Comptroller of Taxes, said that new civil penalties laws would make it easier for his department to fine tax evaders.

‘Going through the court is expensive and this will allow us to pursue civil penalties without incurring the cost,’ he said.

‘There will of course still be an appeals process, if anyone disagrees with the penalties we impose.’

It is planned that from September next year Islanders will be able to log on and review their tax and social security details online using a new digital ID, a move which will allow them to apply to change their ITIS levels over the internet. The online platform will also enable Islanders to instruct that overpaid taxes be transferred directly into their bank accounts.

Paul Eastwood, the Deputy Comptroller of Taxes, said that the move should allow Islanders to budget for paying their taxes much more efficiently.

‘The idea is to make it much quicker if someone wants to adjust their personal assessments. Rather than it taking months, they should be able to do it in weeks or days,’ he said.

‘This will help people when budgeting for paying their taxes.’

From 2020 onwards, Islanders will be able to file their tax returns online but will be able to continue to submit paper returns, if they choose to so.

Islanders who file online will be be given a two-month extension to their deadline for submission.

With the introduction of digital filing less paperwork will need to be submitted with returns but greater onus is due to be placed on taxpayers to keep records of supporting documents.

By 2019 it is also planned to give the Taxes Office greater powers to share information with other States departments.

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