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Jersey Chamber of Commerce

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Jersey Chamber of Commerce Press Release

Jan 31, 2020

Further to meetings with The Minister for Treasury and Resources, The Comptroller of Taxes and The Corporate Affairs Scrutiny Panel, it may be helpful to clarify the position of Chamber in relation to Personal Tax Reforms Proposition, being put to States Members next week.  

Chamber are wholly supportive of the modernisation of the tax system to remove the many inequalities and technical issues within the current law.  This is not a simple task and these issues have been sadly neglected for so long. Although Chamber supports the move towards independent taxation, we are unable to support the Proposition as currently drafted as we believe part of the Proposition creates further issues for married women and civil partners.   Vice President of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce John Shenton points to the fine detail of the Proposition: “We cannot support part three of this Proposition, which seeks to create joint and several liability for the payment of outstanding taxes, except where couples have opted for ‘separate assessment’. This would appear to be the complete opposite of a move to independent taxation.  To create equality you would expect the liability of the married man / first civil partner to be reduced to the tax on his income rather than the liability of the wife / second civil partner to be increased so that they have to also pay the liability of what should be, over as yet an undetermined time period, an ‘independent taxpayer’.  We cannot reconcile this part of the Proposition, with the aim of the accompanying report which states “the end goal of independent taxation would give Jersey a personal income tax system that fundamentally treats married and unmarried taxpayers the same way” and also refers “to overdue reforms to the most egregious aspects of our existing married couple regime”.  We are unable to see how part three is not diametrically opposed to these goals.”

Jersey Chamber would therefore strongly advocate that if the Proposition is brought to the States Assembly as a single voting Proposition that it is rejected in its entirety, as the increased burden placed upon married women / civil partners far outweighs the benefits contained in the first two parts of the Proposition.  Should the third part of the Proposition be passed by States Members, we would  recommend all married women / civil partners contact the Taxes Office immediately and make a formal claim for separate assessment, to avoid being faced in the future with the liability of ‘an independent taxpayer’ being collected from them.

Jersey Chamber of Commerce Press Release 31/01/2020

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