Revenue Jersey will reach a major modernisation landmark next month when it moves to a new computer system.
From Tuesday, 7 May, Revenue Jersey’s business and personal tax staff will start using the new Revenue Management System (RMS), which has been in development since November 2017. Further significant improvements to provide digital services will also take place this year, so that customers will be able to file online next spring with a new additional online filing deadline of 31 July.
The switch to the new system means there will be limited services over the traditionally quiet May bank holiday week. Existing computer systems will be switched off so that taxpayer data can be moved from the old 1980s ‘pre-Windows’ system to the new system between 1 and 3 May. Tax officers will still be able to answer general tax enquiries and direct customers to help with their tax returns during this time, but Revenue Jersey is warning customers to expect some delay in payments made appearing on their accounts.
Months of planning and testing has taken place to manage the move to this significantly different new software, including 350 hours of system training for tax officers and the provision of on-site support from the supplier for when the new system goes live.
The move to the new RMS also marks another milestone in modernisation: the introduction of the internationally recognised 10 digit Tax Identification Number (TIN), which will in time replace Jersey Tax Reference Numbers. Islanders will notice their TIN appearing on all future correspondence from Revenue Jersey.
The introduction of TINs brings Jersey in line with international tax practice, increasing the level of security offered by the identification number, and ensuring that every individual has their own identity. Whatever changes to personal taxation come from the Personal Income Tax Review, every individual will need to have a TIN. Every individual currently holding a Jersey tax record will be assigned a TIN, including spouses and civil partners who at present do not have their own Tax Reference Number.
In addition, from 7 May, husbands and lead partners in same-sex unions (under whose tax reference number the couple’s tax affairs are currently managed) will receive the tax assessment as normal, and ‘Spouse B’ or ‘Civil Partner B’ (whose income information is submitted in the Spouse/Partner B column on the couple’s tax return) will also receive their own copy of their effective rate notice, now known as an instalment rate notice, which will carry their own unique TIN.
Richard Summersgill, Comptroller of Taxes, said: “I am delighted that we have reached this milestone moment in the transformation programme’s work. Moving to working on a modern, future focused computer system is the foundation we required to deliver reform of our processes and customer services.
“Once our officers are settled in to using the new system, we will be designing our customer service portal, which will enable the option of online filing for every customer in 2020, and which will speed up hugely the rate at which we can process customers’ annual tax assessments. I want to thank the public for their continued understanding of our current slow running and thank all our people for their dedication and hard work.”
For the quickest enquiry resolution, customers can continue to call the Tax teams on 440300. Tax return help and guidance is also available at gov.je/mytaxreturn.
Government of Jersey Press Release.