Income tax 20p rate will form part of review

THE future of the 20p income tax rate will be considered as part of a wider review, the chief minister has revealed.

THE future of the 20p income tax rate will be considered as part of a wider review, the chief minister has revealed.

Deputy Peter Harwood (pictured) said the review would see Treasury and Resources and the Social Services Department work together to look at both tax and social insurance contributions.

He said the rate of income tax – long established at 20p – would be just one of the areas that would have to be looked at. The review could furthermore explore whether there should be a ‘flat rate across the board or a progressive tax rate’ based on earnings, he suggested.

‘I think this is the first time in recent years we have tried to look at income tax and social insurance issues as one,’ said Deputy Harwood. ‘It is really an attempt to consider the weight of burden of tax and social insurance on the population and where the burden may be best shared – most fairly shared.’

Comments for: "Income tax 20p rate will form part of review"

Backchat

Yeah go on put it up, you know you want to, so you can carry on the mad spending, forcing more onto social as the only way of surviving on this fast becoming rich man's Island

West

"or a progressive tax rate’ based on earnings"

I've said it before, remove the cap of no income tax to pay over £1.1m earnings. This is unfair,

Scarlett

yes, it has to be said there is a reason we are a 'rich man's' island, West, seems a tad unfair.

Still, rest assured the few (rich) who call the shots will continue to sit comfortably whilst the many (rest of us) with no voice gets squeezed to death.

What's the betting the capping remains in place and they simply put the rate up?

West

Your are probably right.

An increased allowance, to show that they care about the poor, then a 20% rate tiered upwards to 30% on earnings, BUT of course they will leave the cap in place as they won't want to scare off the really rich. So the hardworking middle earner gets caned.

valeite

Great news, about time, put up tax by a few pence for everyone, remove the cap on income, and push up personal allowances.That is fair for all, if this budget is about fairness.Never heard that before.

Woody

If I worked hard during my life and earned more money over the course of my career, I'd be annoyed if the percentage I was taxed was increased as a result. I think the flat 20% rate is more than fair for everyone.

Scarlett

Please define 'fair', Woody, that's a very subjective term, as is your opinion, purely based on high earners, who can, comparatively speaking, well afford the tax they pay compared with Mr and Mrs Average.

Some people, in fact, most people, here, through no fault of their own and no matter how hard they work, will never achieve falling into the top earner (capped) category for tax, and equally, not everyone who earns a king's ransom in income/wages has worked any harder than those less fortunate.

So tell me again, what is 'fair'...?

The Strutting Dandy

On the other hand, why should a rich man be expected to pay more of his income in tax if he gains nothing for it?

He gains no special privilege or treatment from the emergency services, despite paying a bigger share of their funding.

He drives on the same quality roads as the poor man, despite the poor man paying less for their upkeep.

The poor man's vote is valued as highly as the rich man's, despite the fact that he pays less towards the society he lives in.

While it's true that 20% of a millionaire's income is much more than 20% of a lower wage, it's unreasonable to assume that a man who gets paid more simply has money laying around that he does nothing with.

A fixed percentage is fair for as long as all men are treated equally in society.

Steven

I know of a few people with lots of money that are poor.

If society doesn't work out and anarchy rules, who has the more to lose?

States House

The rich shouldnt be expected to pay more. They should be expected to pay the same percentage as everyone else.

You do realise that a rich person only pays 20% on £220,000. Not his entire yearly income. So they arent paying the same percentage as us.

Take a look at the tax form they fill out. Ours wants to know the ins and outs of a cats bottom.

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=5366&p=0

Why should someone who earns comparitively a pittance pay such a larger portion of their wage than a wealthy person who can afford to pay the same fair amount.

Why should the local working Guernseyman subsidise a wealthy person who uses Guernsey and laughs at us rather than lives here.

The Strutting Dandy

Probably the poor man?

Once social security and the like close down, those with no money will be plunged into poverty, whereas a man with money in reserve can afford to purchase food and security for himself.

Unless banks etc. go south as well, in which case everyone's on the same level and the argument is moot.

Scarlett

What States House said, Strutting D.

The rich man isn't 'expected to pay more', what I would like is for those in that category to pay their 20%, the same as the rest of it, not have capping in place, which essentially means a percentage of his income isn't taxed at all, or, to put it another way, that he pays less than 20%.

That is what's not fair, IMO.

Why should the poor man subsidise the rich man's reduced tax arrangement?

Steven

Strutting Dandy, if everyone was on the same level my argument might be inconvenient but is certainly not moot.

Bob C Wilderbeast

Make taxation fairer for lower earners - remove the upper limit and introduce a higher tax band for those "few" rich islanders and make sure they don't/aren't do/ing the "Sark Lark"

Public Servant

There has to be something like a 30% income tax rate for earnings over say £75000.

West

And what about earnings over £1.1m? 30% or 0%

Public Servant

How many people would get around declaring such earnings but I've no objection to 30% +

West

I think you would be shocked to know the answer.

concerned

Tax politicians 80% and beat them with a sh*tty stick every tuesday.

Rees Bryant

Which should they look at first? How much tax can they raise, or how much do we really need to spend?

I suspect most of of the public would agree that fixing the spend should come first, before it is decided how to raise it. And the spend should be kept at a realistic minimum.

Once you know the spend, then decide how to raise it, so this looks cart before horse. Or is he just testing the water?

Read in conjunction with the proposed HSSD spending cuts I suspect it is a warning, but I would say that there is a lot of fat in the overall budget that should be trimmed before taxes are increased.

Having said that, it is easier to raise taxes.

Ray

The UK 50p tax rate hike had the opposite effect to what was intended

‘Labour’s ideological tax hike led to a tax cull of millionaires. Far from raising funds, it actually cost the UK £7 billion in lost tax revenue.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2239534/Millionaires-exodus-Two-thirds-Britains-earners-deserted-UK-50p-tax-rate-introduced.html#ixzz2DeZFxRwz

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Spartacus

Ray

This story is alleged to be bogus. They just brought forward their income to dodge the extra tax.

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2012/11/28/the-telegraphs-claim-that-all-the-rich-have-run-away-because-of-50p-tax-is-completely-bogus/

Ray

But,but ... it was in the MAIL !

West

Referring to Tax Research on such a matter is like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas

Nick Le P

Ironically a lot of those funds were diverted to offshore accounts held in Guernsey!

kevin

I believe people in the UK who earn over £35k a year are paying at least 40% tax, not to mention VAT, higher fuel prices, no mortgage relief etc.........enough said.

No wonder every man and his dog want to live here!

Its perfectly acceptable to look at charging high earners a slightly higher rate than 20% in my view - maybe 25% on incomes over £60k?

Fifty grander??

Kevin

I've noticed a theme to your posts, you seem to have a bee in your bonnet about people who earn more than £60k a year. I don't suppose you earn just under that do you, maybe around £50k?

kevin

I wish!!

Income tax can be put up to a higher percentage at a considerably lower figure, sadly it wouldn't affect the amount I pay.

The reason I suggest £60k ish is that I would say about four grand a month is more than enough to enjoy a good quality of life even taking into account the ever increasing cost of living in Guernsey, there are many people who have to survive on well under half that amount.

Zab

An end to the Scrooge policies of not caring wether Tiny Tim can afford a roof over his head, food, medical care etc as long as he keeps paying his taxes are way overdue, any urgency nah!

steve

Just take all my wages why dont you

States House

All those looking for higher tax percentages for high earners, just make em pay tax on all their earnings rather than capping it at 20% of £220,000. Make them pay 20% on all their earnings just like we are.

What benefit is it for guernsey to have multi millionaires call Guernsey their home? They dont put much in to the economy because they are only here for 91 days. They pay a small portion of tax. What is the benefit for Guernsey to allow the rich to have maximum tax of £44,000 a year? (I think this is right? 20% of £220,00)

Phil

States House

I think you're wrong, it's the actual tax payable figure you're quoting, not the income on which tax is payable, if that makes any sense i.e. tax on £550k = £110k

That applies on both local and non-local source of income (I think) i.e. total maximum tax bill = £220k

Matt

Look the problem here is spending. Like most countries, businesses and individuals Guernsey isn't getting a pay rise this year. We have to tighten our belts and cut spending (although I do agree with removing the tax cap). If we raise taxes a lot of the extra revenue will be wasted and we will be in a similar position (ie needing to raise taxes again) a few years down the road without some economic miracle. The world is having a tough time at the moment. Deal with it.

Walrus

Sorry Matt, but belt already tightened to the point that I can no longer breathe!

Matt

Time for a diet then ;)

Herbert Roth

I for one would not baulk at a 1p tax rise - IF - I was confident that it would sort out the majority of Guernsey's financial woes. The problem is that I don't believe it would make any difference at all.

Before we even start thinking about an income tax hike, Guernsey has to live within her means: States departments have to balance the books, external consultants should be the exception not the rule and UK ways of doing things should be viewed with extreme suspicion.

And I agree, remove these tax caps for the uber wealthy without delay.

GM

Herbert Roth

I don't believe in removing the tax cap because it would see several leave, and we would lose that tax revenue. Let's face it, those who use the tax cap do not utilise much if indeed any of Guernsey's resources, so let's not bite the hand that feeds us.

I too would welcome a tax rise. I would have no problem paying a 25% top rate of income tax over a certain threshold (I would say £100k, others would say £75k), and I also believe that we should look to tax inheritances of Guernsey real estate (say 10% - let's face it, a received inheritance is a gift, not worked for, so why not tax it modestly?).

These sorts of changes would start to spread the burden of extra taxes in Guernsey much more favourably.

BUT

(a) I would not be keen to go down either route until and unless there was a far more extensive culling of excess costs in the public sector, as to raise taxes before doing that means that it would never happen.

(b) I would not want to see a higher rate of income tax PLUS the ceiling being raised or abolished on employees' social insurance contributions. It needs to be one or the other, not both (there is a broadly similar affect to a 5% income tax rise in excess of £100,000 if employees' contributions were raised to 11% for earnings in excess of £100,000, or circa £85,000 I think to be more accurate - maybe that should be the threshold level for extra income taxes on EARNED income (we will drive the Open Market tax revenues away if we also raise taxes on investment income.

Overall, I would prefer to revamp the corporate tax system altogether. Simply go for a 20% tax for all Guernsey companies, but only taxing local trading profits on a territorial basis, not investment income and gains. That would collect a lot more tax from proper trading companies, and would have minimal effect on the finance industry as very few trading companies are run from here these days. Captive insurance companies and funds would be able to fall into the "non-trading/territorial" exemptions.

Dead simple, and a territorial tax system would NOT fall foul of the EU Code of Conduct. Even Richard Murphy accepts that point.

Jamie

Some good thoughts GM ...

Don't you think 25% a bit steep though, that's an increase of 25% from our current position. Perhaps a 10% increase to 22% would be more palatable?

I'd also not bother tiering the rate but instead remove allowances on a tapered basis from a certain point e.g. for every 2 pounds above £75k gross earning, you loose 1 pound of personal allowance. Perhaps also apply a tapered reduction to Mortgage allowances on a similar basis.

Saw an interesting Tweet from the states of Jersey earlier... the bottom 40% of taxpayers contribute 2% of income tax revenues, the top 20% contribute 70% of all income tax ..... would be very interesting to see the Guernsey equivalent figures.

Dead (no pun intended)against inheritance tax on property ... too many ways around it e.g. Trust / company holds the asset, sells it upon death and then distributes cash to beneficiaries rather than property for example. What if the beneficiary actually wants to live in the property but can not afford the inheritance tax bill?

Corporate tax ..... hmm I'm going to be controversial here I guess, I don't actually believe in corporate tax at all. The incidence always ends up back on people (employees, shareholders or consumers), can lead to reduced investment and reduced potential job creation. Just keep the taxation on the people receiving the profits from business (e.g. income tax).

GM

Jamie

Is 25% too steep? Depends really on how much would be raised if we only went to say 22%. If the main purpose of doing it is to raise extra tax revenue, then that's really the governing factor.

Reducing/removing allowances as one moves up the earnings scale makes a lot of sense.

A comparision of the tax payment analysis with Jersey would indeed be interesting. Our open market sector is much larger in numbers than their 11(k)sector, but over there that sector is much wealthier per capita, so it might not be comparing apples quite with apples. However I suspect it wouldn't be too different overall.

It would be easy enough to deal with tax avoidance re succession of structure-owned local real estate. If the beneficiary of a property inheritance wants to live in it but can't afford to pay the tax, then why not raise a 10% mortgage against it to pay the tax? After all, he wouldn't be paying for the other 90% of the property. In many cases he would presumably have another property to sell, so just allow time to pay (accrue interest on the tax charge). That situation re property inheritance and inheritance tax applies all over the world and just gets dealt with.

Normally I would agree with you re corporation tax, and for Guernsey residents that is indeed the case that the shareholder ends up paying the tax anyway, but the objective behind my suggestion is to ensure that non-locally owned businesses here (ie Boots)do end up paying tax here on their trading profits, as at present we have no means of taxing them at all under zero-10, and we of course need to retain zero-10 to protect the finance industry. My territorial tax suggestion would enable zero-10 to be replaced without adverse impact on the finance industry, while raising far more tax from those companies actually trading here.

West

GM

Re your first para, you are not correct in your statement that "those who use the tax cap do not utilise much if indeed any of Guernsey’s resources". There are those that may only reside in Guernsey for limited periods but there are those that do permanently reside here. To state that to tax these individuals to a capped amount, is morally wrong. A tax system that benefits the wealthy because they may offer other benefits to the island is an unfair system.

Perhaps Gavin could release the stats on how many do benefit and the gross amount the island does not tax. Any other deputy care to comment?

GM

West

Sorry I disagree. They don't claim social benefits, they will usually go private for medical care, their children will (usually) be past school leaving age or will board in the UK or be feepayers locally, they won't have a Guernsey state pension, and so on.

Yes - they use our roads. For an annual tax cap of £220k I'd say we get an outstanding deal out of it. If they choose to go elsewhere, as they easily can, we lose their £220k tax contribution and save nothing. Its a no-brainer.

West

GM

You are welcome to disagree. I also disagree with you.

GM

West

No problem at all in disagreeing with each other, but I'm intrigued to know whether you think my statement is factually wrong, or whether you are simply arguing that it is morally wrong.

Herbert Roth

GM

You appear to know a lot more about tax than myself, so I do not feel qualified to comment on the majority of your theories. However, I must take umbrage with your inheritance tax suggestion that "a received inheritance is a gift, not worked for". Whilst it's true that the person in receipt of an inheritance did not work work for it, it is also true that the wealth was created by somebody, namely the deceased. The State did nothing to help create that wealth, at least the inheritor was (presumably) selected by the deceased as a worthy recipient of their wealth.

GM

Herbert Roth

My comment could have been better worded. It should indeed have said that the recipient has done nothing to generate the wealth.

You can say exactly the same about any tax - what did the State do to justify that tax?

In a nutshell, collecting some modest inheritance tax (10%) from people inheriting Guernsey residential property who did not sweat blood and tears for it means that we don't have to collect more income taxes or GST from hardworking locals who genuinely have worked for their earned income. It also has the benefit, unlike extra taxes on income or consumption, of not taking existing money out of circulation in the economy because the chances are that any Guernsey inherited property will contain at least 10%, indeed much more, of equity element, which may well have been "sleeping equity" for decades.

I would suggest that when looking at raising more taxes, as Guernsey must, it is one of the easiest, far less contentious ways to raise it.

Benedict

So, if I work hard because I wish to provide for my family, the state will tax me when I am alive and tax me when I am dead. Moreover I have foregone the pleasure of enjoying the money. So much for being a responsible paterfamilias.

You have substituted ease of gathering for morality.

Further, I suggest that your inheritance tax is more likely to drive away the ultra -rich whom you wish to keep.

Spartacus

IHT is a good thing. It is a tax on the living, no one gets taxed when they are dead. When you are born you own nothing and on death you no longer own anything.

GM

Benedict

Welcome to the real world, where that's exactly what happens just about everywhere else. And I'm talking about a very modest 10% - not 40% or 50%.

Why would it drive away the ultra-rich? Somebody from the UK worth £100m can avoid £40m (40%) of UK IHT by being domiciled here instead. If they have a £3m house here, they would pay £300k maximum Guernsey IHT under my idea. Now let's see - £300k on death in Guernsey or £40m on death in the UK - that's a tough one. It would only be an issue of the IHT applied to assets other than Guernsey real estate.

Jamie

GM ... what about these scenarios ...

1) Husband has the deeds to the house and dies leaving it to his wife. His wife, whilst not on the deeds, has probably contributed to the purchase of the house, should she be taxed ?

2) Houses currently held by companies, should this IHT be extended to share holdings that may be inherited ?

3) Selling the house for £1 prior to death with a lifetime enjoyment clause. Used to be common to avoid the house being sold to pay for old age care (not sure if you can still do this).

GM

Jamie

The first one is easy - transfers between spouses should be exempt, as is common in many jurisdictions re IHT.

As far as company-owned property is concerned, there would need to be appropriate legislation to cover it but yes, taxing inheritances of shares in property owning companies would need to be caught.

In the third case, it would be logical to levy the tax when the lifetime enjoyment comes to an end. In the UK there are mechanisms to place values on lifetime enjoyment interests for IHT and CGT purposes.

I doubt that we would come across any scenarios which haven't already been addressed eleswhere.

Jamie

Sorry GM,

Still disagree with the idea of an IHT.

1) IHT is a form of CGT

2) It bequeths (sp?) cost on future generations

3) We shouldn't be looking at introducing new forms of tax but working with existing methods (keep it simple)

4) Don't under estimate the costs .... new legislation, extra tax staff, cost of valuing each property (fairly), cost of closing loopholes.

5) Just because we could raise revenue (could be said for any form of taxation really), doesn't mean we should. Easy ways of raising tax revenue which could bloat the government and divert them from being frugal with our money is very much from the Richard Murphy school of thought.

islander

keep tax rate at 20%.higher personnel allowances for people earning under 40.000 per year.keep mortgage relieve.

no allowances for 200.000 upwards but still taxed at 20%

cease family allowance.

introduce empty shops tax

kevin

islander

cease family allowance?

We have the least amount of nought to ten year olds in our history.

Jersey has the most nought to ten year olds in it's history.

Demographic Timebomb mean anything to you?

GM Inheritance tax at 10% seems reasonable and boy would it raise some money!

GM

Kevin

I know we often disagree but I'm totally in agreement with your post.

Re IHT, a 10% IHT on a £500k property obviously raises £50k. 100 such inheritances a year raises £5m a year. I can't think of too many easier ways of raising £5m a year. A few larger properties amongst those, including open market properties, and it could easily be £7m or £8m.

It would also need to catch lifetime gifts of Guernsey real estate, otherwise people could simply gift their properties to avoid the IHT. Not that difficult to deal with.

I would stress that my idea refers solely to Guernsey residential property, not to any other assets.

Benedict

If I follow you correctly, you are suggesting the following:

Mr Z dies in Torteval leaving an ancestral house (in the family since the 15th century). He leaves nothing else. His heirs have to pay £100,000 inheritance tax on a farmhouse valued at one million pounds.

Mr Y dies in Torteval. He is an incomer. He leaves his house worth one million pounds and a fortune of £20 million pounds. His heirs pay £100,000 pounds.

As a disinterested bystander falling into neither category it seems to me to be unjust; and the quickest route to destroying what little remains of genuine Guernsey. When the last Guernseyman leaves his native isle and the the place is inhabited by plutocratic immigrants and their servants you will see the logical outcome of your scheme. Perhaps it is what you desire.

GM

Benedict

Correct - the Guernsey real estate inherited is worth £1m regardless of who owned it, so they get the tax same liability in relation to that asset - £100,000. That's pretty much how inheritance tax on real estate is taxed the world over - although usually at far higher rates than that! The fact that the "incomer" has other net worth of £20m is irrelevant. It may not even be Guernsey-situs wealth, so why would it be covered by a Guernsey inheritance tax on Guernsey rewl estate?

There is perhaps a good refinement to consider. In the UK, for example, the first £325k of a person's estate is exempt from IHT, and the balance is payable at 40%. We could exempt the first (say) £450,000 of Guernsey real estate value (based on the average Guernsey house price), so that the tax is only payable on the excess. There is therefore a lot of people who it would not affect at all.

I really don't understand your point in the last paragraph. Can you please explain? I don't see how the heirs paying £100k tax on their inheritance (under my suggestion above it would only be £55,000 though) could have any such consequences. If the house is worth a net £1m, then why not simply borrow the £55,000 by way of mortgage so that the tax can be paid? A 5.5% loan-to-value mortgage is nothing.

Benedict

You say in an earlier post:

'In a nutshell, collecting some modest inheritance tax (10%) from people inheriting Guernsey residential property who did not sweat blood and tears for it....'

You use this argument to justify taxing those who inherit an old farmhouse. Then you state:

'I would stress that my idea refers solely to Guernsey residential property, not to any other assets.'

So, the family that inherits the ancestral farmhouse feels the full weight of your opprobrium because 'they did not sweat blood and tears for it.' But the feckless youth who inherits millions is allowed to enjoy all of it.

Your scheme would hit the middle classes, many of whom have little beyond their house. And it would protect the ultra wealthy. The Gini co-efficient would approach 1, displaying vast inequality in the distribution of wealth.

My old tutor would have awarded a gamma minus to your scheme.

Benedict

GM at 10.29

1.The fact that something happens elsewhere does not, per se, make it equitable or desirable.

2. To my direct knowledge there are people hanging back from coming to Guernsey. They are disturbed by the muddle over open/closed housing. They are not happy about suggestions regarding inheritance tax.

3. You have not addressed the question of your selective morality: those who inherit a house are abused by you; those who inherit money are spared your moral opprobrium. Totally inconsistent and reminiscent of champagne socialists who plot to deprive the aristocracy of their country houses while keeping their own money protected.

Au revoir.

GM

Benedict

1. I agree. Everything should stand on its own merits.

2. Then they or you haven't understood what I've suggested. I can fully understand that a general IHT on their wider assets would be a complete turn-off. That is not what I am suggesting.

3. Nothing to do with morals at all. Immovable property in Guernsey is very easy to collect tax on. Movable property is not. There is no point in ever imposing a tax which costs a disproportionate amount to collect.

GM

Jamie

I'm not sure how you reach those conclusions.

1) IHT is payable on value not on growth, so it bears no correlation to CGT.

2) How can it possibly impose "cost" on the next generation - they are only having to pay 10% of the value of what they are being given. So instead of receiving a "gift" worth £1m, they are receiving a "gift" worth £900k. Its just a smaller gift!

3) Keeping it simple and using existing taxes only works when its easy. Is it easy to raise existing tax rates when the 20% income tax rate seems to be sacrosanct? Nobody likes to pay more tax, and what I'm suggesting is the lesser of the evils. A property IHT or GST?

4) Really not that difficult or costly to implement. All land in Guernsey needs to be conveyed.

5) Believe me, I'm one of Murphy's biggest critics! I'm just realistic enough to appreciate that "easy" won't work, and that we are going to have to pay more taxes. Finding the "least bad" options is surely a good objective?

Jamie

1) If someone has zero capital and they receive a house worth £1m, their capital has risen by £1m. a tax on this in not dissimilar to CGT at all (the capital value passed on has been reduced by the tax cost).

2) yes so in your example this tax would cost them £100k of what they would have otherwise received.

3) We'll have to agree to disagree. I actually think changing the headline rate is not sacrosanct but would need to take careful consideration of allowances at the same time.

4) Not if it's held by a company and the ownership of the company changes .... I think the cost is higher than you make out but I agree the income would most likely be far higher.

5) I do believe you, I don't think anyone in Guernsey really supports RM .... except maybe Arnald :)But that diverts from the point I was trying to make .... this would probably raise too much tax and make deputies lives to easy to go on a spending spree. e.g. if they have it, they will spend it (and then some!!)

I guess I'm comming at this from too much of a personal angle. I wan't to be able to leave my estate (and hopefully good memories) to my family (unless the p*ss me off before then) rather than have them take out mortgages (no matter how big) to receive their inheritance. I have already paid tax on the money needed to buy my property and Guernsey does not have cgt or iht. These are sacrosanct to me.

GM

Jamie

1) I see your point although I wouldn't have described it quite that way because a property could potentially be worth less than its original cost.

2) Correct

3) I agree that 20% needn't be sacrosanct - it just seems to be that way. But GST could be a lot less palatable!

4) Anti avoidance law can deal with that.

5) I was taking as read that the current cost reduction disciplines of our politicians would continue!

I can relate to your sentiment, but that's the way tax works pretty much the world over, and our current system isn't raising enough tax. I just think that its the lesser of the various evils once its accepted that higher taxes are unavoidable.

Watcher

Our near neighbors cottoned on to a form of Inheritance Tax (I.T. not I.H.T.) years ago but they imposed Document Duty on the value of the property as determined by independent estate agents. Jersey charge that duty at 2% because they see the inheritance as a passing of the property from one person to others - in other words a conveyance - which of course attracts Document Duty. The property cannot be disposed of by the heirs until that duty is paid. It rarely causes a problem and is a useful source of income to the exchequer. I cannot see any valid arguments against the States imposing such a regime in Guernsey. Years ago I did voice the suggestion to the politician in charge of the Income Tax department only to be told "Oh no, we don't want Inheritance Tax" I think the idea is worth revisiting now that the money no longer rolls in like the tide.

GM

Watcher

We already have a conge (in effect a document duty) on conveyances, paid for by the purchaser. Just to clarify, is the Jersey system a document duty on a sale, payable by the vendor?

Somebody selling and then buying could then end up paying document duty on both transactions.

That's not necessarily an obstacle, as its best to look at the overall quantum, but maybe it would help people struggling to get onto the property market if (a) it was only levied on the seller, with conge then abolished for buyers, and (b) there was a suitable exemption threshold to remove lower-value properties from the tax. Something like a 3% or 4% duty on sales over £400,000, with nothing payable on purchases, might be worth looking at.

Watcher

GMT

It is my understanding that the document duty on inherited real property is payable before the property is legally vested in the heirs. If they choose to sell it or not does not matter at all, it remains payable by the heirs.