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Guernsey Reports On 2014 Compliance Drive

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
23 March, 2015

Guernsey's Income Tax Office has reported that it collected extra revenues worth GBP1.8m (USD2.68m) through compliance activities in 2014.

The tax office handled 344 cases relating to omissions of income and incorrect claims for allowances and deductions.

GBP3.2m of income was identified as a result of voluntary disclosures (in 104 cases). This included declarations made under two current disclosure facilities: the BIRD (Bank Interest Reporting Disclosure) and the EMIRD (Excess Mortgage Interest Reporting Disclosure). These two disclosure facilities are part of the Stop Tax Evasion Program, launched on July 1, 2014, and aimed at improving compliance rates.

An additional GBP1.7m of income was discovered as a result of information received by the Income Tax Office, including information received through the dedicated hotline and online reporting facility (accounting for 35 cases); and GBP2.2m as a result of inquiries made on the basis of returns submitted (accounting for 205 cases).

Rob Gray, Director of Income Tax, said: "Whilst the vast majority of Guernsey taxpayers pay the tax that they are required to pay, a minority do not. The Income Tax Office remains committed to dealing with those who choose to cheat the tax system, to the detriment of all law abiding and tax paying islanders. It is vital to do this as the States of Guernsey relies on monies raised through general revenue, which is mostly derived from payment of income tax, to fund essential public services in the island, such as education, health, and pensions."

Gavin St Pier, the Minister of the Treasury and Resources Departments, said: "The Income Tax Office is to be congratulated on unearthing these people who choose not to comply with the law, and for bringing an additional GBP1.8m into the island's treasury as a result. Tax evasion is often considered a "soft crime" against the Income Tax Office, but the reality is that it is perpetrated against the whole of the island, including the tax evader's own family, friends, and work colleagues. Tax revenues are used to fund vital public services such as health, education and public and social welfare, and those who evade tax, have a negative effect on the wellbeing of these vital public services."


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