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Expat refuses to pay tax because of delay over new relief measures

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A FORMER Jersey resident is refusing to pay any more Jersey tax after the States backtracked over the removal of a tax break for those living overseas.

Bob Dale, a retired postman living in the Canary Islands, said that if the States were admitting that they had ‘got it wrong’, then they should pay compensation to those who have suffered

Retirees living away from the Island are calling for compensation to be paid to them after they were stung by the withdrawal of non-resident relief in 2016 and learned this week that the Treasury Minister intends to introduce new relief measures for them which would not come into effect until 2020.

A number of people have complained of hardship after losing thousands of pounds after the tax break was removed, resulting in them becoming taxed at a 20 per cent rate on their Jersey-sourced private pensions.

In her first budget Treasury Minister Susie Pinel said that she was concerned about the impact on low-income non-residents, as well as those who might be double-taxed, and announced that new forms of relief had been proposed for introduction in 2020.

Under her plans, non-residents whose worldwide income was below the Jersey threshold of £15,400 would be exempt from taxation, while those whose income exceeded that level could apply for ‘reduced rate relief’, which would also lessen their tax burden.

Roger Bara, a former BBC Radio Jersey presenter who now lives in northern Cyprus, said that compensation should be paid to those who have lost out due to the removal of non-resident relief.

‘I am pleased that the Treasury Minister has kept her word, and has addressed the loss of marginal relief to low-earning expats,’ he said.

‘At the moment, each of us affected are working out how we may recover some of our financial hardships from her proposals in the future – certainly, if we eventually are on parity with Jersey residents as far as taxation is concerned, that always was our aim. We shall see.

‘However, I would remind the minister that as each day goes by, the ever-ageing Jersey expats are continuing to hugely suffer financially from a decision in 2016 that the States has now accepted was wrong. And these new changes will not take effect until 2020. I am intending to discuss compensation in the near future.’

Meanwhile, Bob Dale, a retired postman living in the Canary Islands, said that if the States were admitting that they ‘got it wrong’, then they should pay compensation to those who have suffered.

‘Of course, to some extent we are happy but very dissatisfied that it won’t kick in until 2020. Not good enough – they can put fags and booze up immediately but are happy to keep us waiting for two years,’ he said. He added: ‘I shall not be paying any further tax to the States. They can do what they like. Also, I won’t be filling in a tax demand next year. If they made a mistake by targeting the wrong people, then I shall be seeking compensation. The scheme proposed by the Treasury Minister does seem very complicated. It’s so simple – if they admit they were wrong, just send our money back.’

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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