Late start for filing tax returns due to backlog - but no extra time

ISLANDERS and businesses will have less time to complete their 2013 tax returns as a result of a backlog at the Income Tax office.

Rob Gray

This means people will not be able to complete their tax returns online until 3 February or in paper form until 3 March.

Previously, tax returns could be filled in from the beginning of the year.

Despite the delay, director of income tax Rob Gray said that all 2013 returns would still have to be submitted by 30 November. Those who do not do so face a fine that has this year increased to £300.

‘The availability of personal tax returns has been delayed to allow time for the tax collected under the ETI (Employees Tax Instalment) scheme to be processed, and to enable as many outstanding returns as possible to be assessed before 2013 tax returns are complete,’ said Mr Gray.

‘Taxpayers are reminded that the filing deadline for 2013 tax returns, whether filed online or submitted in paper form, is 30 November.’

Comments for: "Late start for filing tax returns due to backlog - but no extra time"


You guy's need to get your own house in order.

why was it all so simple a few years ago yet now its a right old mess?


Because the Income Tax Office is a retirement home... The majority of the tax accountants are getting old and closer to retirement. It takes years to train up young new tax accountants and by the time they are qualified one of the banks poaches them away with lucrative salaries and repays any of the costs they need to pay back for the training.

I don't know if that situation has changed since the last time I saw them, but given how things have been sliding downhill, I can presume it's still a problem.


When will this long running joke be over?

How is not making the online facility available for another month make their existing work any less.

Utterly bizarre.


One reasonable comment from the Tax Office was that they had improved the automatic checking (not holding my breath for that one) so there was no point receiving online submissions until the employer's contribution schedules (due 15 Jan) were received and checked so that the online submissions could be compared with them.


What is the point of having a deadline to get your return in by when the Tax Office can take as long as they like to review it?

Devil's Advocate

Does it matter? not really, it's not like you submit your form and need a coding notice the next day is it?

Dave Haslam

It matters to some people who are waiting for Rebates.

Or, more pertinently, have had tax incorrectly assessed from previous years, been forced to pay a bill on the promise that "it will be rectified when we review next years return", only to wait 9 months for them to process it!


I'm still waiting for a tax return from my form submitted in February last year.

Oxygen thieves! Get a new bunch in who are capable of doing a good job!


At this rate we'll be lucky to get our 2013 returns before the end of 2015.


Does this mean the tax office will remained closed on Thursdays for appointments?


This quite simply is not good enough. Where are the Deputies standing up and demanding answers on our behalf for this continuing shambles.

This isn't a new problem and any attempts to resolve the continuing backlog do not seem to have worked yet the Income tax department just seem to bumble along.

This needs to be sorted NOW.

Island Wide Voting


Those who should be sorting it are ..

Gavin St Pier (St Sampsons)

Jan Kuttelwascher (St PP South)

Mark Dorey (Castel)

Tony Spruce (Vale)

and whoever replaced Garry Collins (Vale) after he jumped ship

Pencils sharpened, note books at the ready GEP


I am sure there are many administrators from the pool of unemployment who can easily be trained up to clear the back log of income tax returns.


I think you will find with the FTP in full force its much harder to recruit staff....


Maybe if people actually submitted their tax forms in reasonable time then they wouldn't all pile up straight after the deadline for the fine comes about


Graham: I submitted mine on the 15th. January last year: it's simple, but it's still not been finally approved. This year the form isn't even available yet - what appalling service! The people of Guernsey deserve better but it's just getting worse.


If you know you owe tax why would you submit your return early?

If you know you are owed a refund get your return in early yes, otherwise wait as long as possible. No point paying a bill any earlier than you need to.


DA dont ask the deputies to get involved it will be an even bigger mess


Simply because the Deputies are the only ones with any influence and the access to people like the Director of Income Tax and all of the other civil servants.

The only other hope is that the newly appointed Mr Whitfield will shake a few trees and rattle a few chains and knock these poorly performing departments into shape.


What an awful way to run a Public Service!

St Sampson's Voter

Last week we had written questions to States Deputies about printing in colour or black and white yet the Tax Department appear to be in disarray.

Although nobody likes to pay taxes it is a given to enable Government to raise sufficient money to help everybody. If I understand it correctly, we cannot start our returns for a month, we get no longer added onto the end date and the fines have gone up!

Where is my Deputy and why are they not sorting this department out. If this was a business, it could not be run like this and I am sure the head would have been told to walk by now. It must soon be time for Mr Gray to vacate his desk?


Have you asked your Deputy?


Not being "in the know", but I would assume that a, there are more people on the island and therefore more forms to deal with. b, the staff freeze in states depts is still in effect therefore no more staff, c, a high turn over of staff due to poaching from accts firms means staff have to be used to check the work of others rather than all working on forms. Also there's nothing to say you can't get all your info together ready for when the forms are available. Maybe calming down on an already stressed department might be in order?

Election Issues

Public services? This is part of "the plan".

Use FTP to strip money out of the service as 'savings' so Capita get their cut.

The service cannot operate properly.

Then the States say to the taxpayers....if you want an improved will have to pay more for increasing taxes or GST.

This is happening with the bus service right now.....take loads of money for FTP savings..the service can hardly run Environment want to introduce paid parking to pay for an improved service. Paid parking will reduce disposable less money is spent in shops close and jobs are lost.

Where is the foresight for growth?

Really tough, difficult and stark choices for 2014. Capita must be loving it.


To what extent has Income Tax Office improved its IT systems to automate as much of the process as possible? Isn't that the main purpose of IT? Reducing manual tasks so that fewer people can handle the workload?

Once again, the IT function of the States needs to be severely questioned.

The Hub, Education, HSSD and now Income Tax. All seem to have ignored, or at least have failed, to use IT to improve efficiencies, even in some cases after making sizeable IT systems investments. Successful implementation seems impossible.

Somebody needs to ask some very searching questions about the entire IT functions of the States. It simply isn't working, and is thwarting FTP as a result.


If only it ws just the IT services,digital infrastructure, and Hub in question. But we also need to consider the 'excellence of HSSD budgeting, Law Office efficiency, T&R payment controls, and the proportionate behavior of Police in Night time AFR Raid, stopping parties on Peimont, and closing clubs when the clocks change?

Then there is the clear transport/Parking Vision, effective Bus 'service and coherent Planning, and the prolonging of deficit financing of government spending (now to seven years) to be taken into account when we look at the efficiency of Guernsey's government. Housekeeping legal reforms such as maintenanve access, trranferability of mortgage guarantees and the delay in turning a switch to put the Assembly online

I scarcely dare mention the long needed structural reform of government services and benefitcs that are needed if the naive decision avoiding FTP policy is to be wound up. How many of our Deputies and Ministers are pulling their weight? How many deserve to be re-elected? Will they deserve the automatic increase in their salalry (even in difficul lecoomic times and facingcontinued deficit spending) when it falls due shortly?


Everyone has exactly the same amount of time to submit their return in 2014 as they did in 2013 - the deadline has not moved.

The fact that you can't complete your retrun for the next month or so is irrelevant - use the time now to get tgether all the information you need if you are that concerned.

Whether you like completing a return or not (and I guess most of the moaners would answer 'not') the timings of the issue of returns makes very little difference.

This is a non-story.



Surely you are missing the point.

Many folk with a simple return to complete would normally do so in January, thus allowing their liability to be determined early and paid by easy deductions from their pay, spread over most of the remaining months of the year. This painless method of paying tax will no longer be possible.


Many people with simple tax affairs don't need to complete a tax return, such as wages only as the tax is deducted via the coding notice. I believe the forms last year could be collected or completed online from 20 January so you are only taking about a couple of weeks difference. Even if the returns were completed in January they still wouldn't be dealt with untill last years returns were dealt with by the tax office. Therefore the same people who get their forms in early will still be processed first for that year. I also believe the delay is to allow the employers to get the finial quarter of the E.T.I. Returns in and then processed meaning that more online forms can be automatically assessed as the amounts declared on the income tax returns should equal what the employer has declared.



The difference between 20th January and 3rd March is a bit more than "a couple of weeks".


Only if your talking about paper returns, but online could be completed from 3 February. It appears the income tax is trying to encourage more online returns to be completed.


They are trying to encourage more online filling of forms and say that they will process these quickly. My tax returns are straightforward and simple and I started doing them online two years ago, yet I receive a letter each year saying unfortunatly they could not process them online as they did not fit the criteria.

I'm sorry Income Tax but you are becoming a disaster area and are going backwards instead of forwards. Big mistake stopping those who are tuned to return their tax returns in January doing so, its bad enough trying to get people to fill in forms, then you add to their problems by not allowing them to do so at a time they are used to.

Guernsey Income Tax Authority are a total shambles and it's time politicians applied pressure to get it sorted.

Herbert Roth

I don't understand the ethos of not wanting to pay your taxes. Tax on income is the lifeblood of our island, so we should be happy to pay our share at the earliest opportunity.

Oh Dear

I agree but it would be nice if those we pay the salaries of could at least ensure a basic level of competence.