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Improvements to tax assessments promised

Improvements to tax assessments promised

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Improvements to tax assessments promised

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Civil servants will be temporarily moved to the Revenue Service to provide additional quality control as the department grapples with several recent correspondence errors.

Experienced tax officials will also be providing assurance to any upcoming bulk mail drops to ensure greater accuracy over the coming weeks.

The tax office estimates that around 1,400 people were provided incorrect assessments last week due to a faulty data transition between the old and new system for administering taxes.

Senior officials who lead the service hope trust can be regained with taxpayers and say future processes for tax assessments should prove to be much quicker and more straightforward, provided declarations are done online.

Sarah Davies, Head of Service Delivery, said both systems are operating simultaneously while the transfer is ongoing: “We're keeping the system synchronised and one of the regular data uploads just, for whatever reason, didn't happen”.

“We want to acknowledge that and apologise for the worry that's caused customers, and to staff who are obviously trying to process workflows and assessments as quickly as possible,” added Nicky Forshaw, Revenue Service Director.


Pictured: A new system should mean more staff time to deal with customer queries.

Officials also accepted that recent errors have created distrust and apathy towards to the Revenue Service, but they want to get the public back on board. 

Ms Forshaw said: “We want to try and restore confidence in our customers because we're focused on bringing about positive change and we have acknowledged that errors have been made.

“We're not hiding behind that. We'd just ask people to continue to be patient with us while our staff are still learning to use two systems.”

Bethan Haines, Chief Resources Officer, argued that once the new system is fully operational the public can expect a big change in how they receive assessments thanks to automation.

“The new system that we've put in place now means that straightforward tax affairs will be automatically assessed,” she said. 

“If people use the online form, and if you've just got income from employment and maybe some interest and a bit of a mortgage, the assessment will happen automatically.

“The days of those backlogs are soon to be behind us because people will get their assessments very quickly and hopefully that will start to restore the confidence that we're on top of this, and that's an imminent change expected.”

It’s possible that 2021 assessments will return much quicker than previous years which remain outstanding since they are not being processed through the new system.

Changes to tax administration were proposed and approved by the previous States Assembly.

The deadline for 2021 tax assessments is March 7. 


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