But the move will give the States Revenue Service, which said it has made significant inroads in its backlog of outstanding assessments, another 12,000 new customers to handle.
The change will mean that islanders will be taxed individually from 2023, meaning changes to the way tax returns are submitted from February 2024.
The change, which was agreed by States members in 2018 and passed into law in 2020, will see the spouses of taxed individuals receive their own tax reference numbers next month, and individual coding notices in November.
The Revenue Service admitted that the changes represented an increased workload in the short term but it was confident it would be able to cope, having reduced its backlog. From December to this month, the 2018 personal return backlog went down from 7% to 5%, the equivalent 2019 backlog went down from 32% to 16%, and that for 2020 was reduced from 77% to 63%.
‘Individual taxation is a big body of work,’ said head of service delivery Sarah Davies, ‘but the systems we are bringing in are creating automation, so those with simplistic tax affairs come in and get assessed without a human even touching them.’
More than 20,000 tax forms were assessed via islanders’ online MyGov.gg accounts for the tax year 2020, and that number is expected to grow for future tax years.
Married couples’ tax allowances have been scrapped and replaced by personal tax allowances for each individual, in preparation for the change. However, those who wish to do so will still be able to give another person the authority to do their tax returns for them. The States launches an information campaign today, featuring a video explaining the changes. Mrs Davies said she wanted to reassure islanders that help was available and hoped to encourage further online engagement.
‘If we can get them to do their forms online, then they can sail through the automation process and it takes a lot of the pain out for both them and the service,’ she said. More on page 2