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Progress on income tax backlog

Progress on income tax backlog

Monday 11 July 2022

Progress on income tax backlog

Monday 11 July 2022

There is still a big backlog of income tax returns - but the States say they are now making "significant progress" clearing personal and business forms.

An appeal was launched earlier this year for former staff to return to help clear the backlog. This has helped the Revenue Service send out tax assessments for 2018 and 2019 to nearly 6,000 customers so far this year.

"The former members of staff of the Revenue Service that have been enlisted to provide additional technical support, together with the existing staff in our assessing teams, have made significant progress in bringing the returns for self-employed and more complex cases up to date. Those resources will now be refocussed on the returns for [the] employed and pensioners," said the States.

Local accountants have also been recruited and are helping to clear the backlog of company returns. 

Currently, the Revenue Service has assessed 94% of 2018 personal returns, 80% of 2019 personal returns and 28% of 2020 personal returns. Assessment of company returns stands at 84% for 2018, 69% for 2019 and 24% for 2020.

The States expect the backlog for 2018 and 2019 to be cleared by the end of 2022.


Pictured: This table shows the current position as Revenue Service staff try to clear a big backlog of previous years' tax returns. 

The Policy & Resources Committee is accountable for income tax matters. However, the States' latest update on progress to clear the tax backlog - which was released this morning - was issued without comment from any elected member of the Committee. 

Sarah Davies, Head of Service Delivery at the Revenue Service, explained the latest position.

"We understand that our customers are frustrated at the delay and we apologise for this," she said.

"The Service is doing its best to get through as many returns as we can, which is why we’ve brought in this additional support - so that we get through assessments faster, especially as we are now starting to see improvements from the teams' efforts in the huge task of documenting our existing processes, which has enabled the creation of the new automated risk and assessment system.

"We would like to ask customers not to follow up with us on the progress of their return at this time - unless they have an urgent enquiry - so that we can focus our efforts on getting assessments done. We will provide you with your assessment as soon as we possibly can and we thank you for your patience."

Policy & Resources Committee

Pictured: The Policy & Resources is accountable to the States for income tax matters.

The Service is undergoing significant technological changes as part of modernising the island's tax administration. The States say these changes are already leading to "a favourable uplift in customer satisfaction with the online personal tax return improved for 2021 tax year".

"Of customers that completed the satisfaction survey after lodging their return, 90% rated the experience good or very good," they said.

"All online 2020 and 2021 personal tax returns will be processed through the new automated assessment process, albeit in stages to ensure the Service can support any customer queries that may arise."

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