2019 tax payments – details to be released

DETAILS of how Islanders might pay their 2019 tax bills if moved to a current rather than prior-year earnings basis will be made available before the States debate on the proposal, the Treasury Minister has said.

Treasury Minister Susie Pinel                                                             Picture: ROB CURRIE. (29292552)
Treasury Minister Susie Pinel Picture: ROB CURRIE. (29292552)

Deputy Susie Pinel has hit back at recent criticisms of a proposition she has lodged for debate in November, which calls for all 45,000 residents paying income tax on prior-year earnings – two- thirds of the tax base – to move to a current-year basis.

The minister announced the move in July, claiming that it would assist those whose income has dropped this year due to Covid-19 because their 2019 liability would be deferred and they would immediately start paying tax on their 2020 earnings.

She has also said the reform would help with the modernisation of Jersey’s taxation system.

But former Senator Ben Shenton and chief Scrutineer Senator Kristina Moore last week voiced concerns that Deputy Pinel’s proposition did not detail how affected Islanders would be required to pay back their 2019 liability and this would not be discussed until March 2021.

In response, the Treasury Minister said the draft regulations, outlining the potential payment proposals, would be published next month, in time for the debate.

She said that the draft regulation would be published in October and would give Members a ‘good indication of what we will be proposing’.

The minister added: ‘The regulations will be informed by the feedback we’ve received from Islanders who completed the survey we ran during August and from focus groups we are holding over the next few weeks.

‘We can also take into account the views of States Members once they have had chance to review the draft regulations.

‘Our intention is to provide PYB taxpayers with a reasonable length of time over which to pay their 2019 tax bill and also give additional support to those who may need it.’

Deputy Pinel said that a petition lodged by Mr Shenton to write off the 2019 tax liability for all those who move to current-year basis will also be debated, following a States decision last week.

‘The decision as to whether to hold an in-committee debate on any petitions that reach 5,000 signatures rests with the Assembly,’ she said.

‘And on Friday States Members voted that an in-committee debate should go ahead and it is scheduled for the States sitting on 20 October.’

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