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Jersey Tax Amnesty Ends Next Month

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
07 November, 2017

Jersey's Taxes Office has urged islanders to check they have declared all their taxable income, ahead of the end of a tax amnesty, which closes on December 31, 2017.

For unpaid tax liabilities disclosed voluntarily during the amnesty, the tax owed must still be paid but penalties and interest will not be applied. Criminal proceedings will generally not be pursued, but a 10 percent late payment surcharge may have to be paid if chargeable by law.

The Comptroller of Taxes has agreed that where taxpayers have limited funds available to meet any liability, flexible payment terms will be considered (subject to circumstances) to ensure disclosure does not push islanders into financial difficulty.

The Taxes Office reports that since the amnesty's launch, about 50 disclosures of both accidental and deliberate omissions have been made. The most common mistakes include not declaring non-Jersey-source income, including income in UK individual savings accounts, dividends on shares, and rental income on foreign property.

From 2018, the Taxes Office will have a greater ability to detect incorrect declarations of income when it begins analyzing data already received from overseas financial institutions.

The Taxes Office says that incorrect declarations made from 2018 will be subject to fines and prosecution, with harsher penalties planned as part of its strategy to increase compliance. The Taxes Office says where errors on returns are detected it ordinarily investigates prior years, which could uncover several years of errors and omissions.

Assistant Comptroller of Taxes Chris Le Breton said: "With more data available it will be easier for us to find those who deliberately omit income and deal with them appropriately, getting us closer to the ideal where every islander pays their fair share of tax. Tax evaders raise the tax bill for everyone else. It's only right that we harness any information available to us to reduce the proportion of people who avoid paying their fair share at the expense of the rest of us."

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