Thursday 10 January 2013
On 18 December 2012, and for the first time, the Income Tax Office automatically issued reminder letters to approximately 11,300 taxpayers (companies and individuals) for whom records indicated that calendar year 2011 returns were still outstanding.
Rob Gray, Director of Income Tax, said:
"This was the first year that the issue of a reminder to submit outstanding returns was automated rather than cases being identified manually. This followed a decision of the States in September 2011, the change being intended to ensure equitable treatment for all persons with outstanding returns, and the process was automated to better use human resources within the Income Tax Office. There have been a few instances where taxpayers received a reminder letter when they had, in fact, already submitted their 2011 return, and as well as apologising for any inconvenience caused to those affected, we are reviewing internal systems to identify and resolve the cause of these errors in our computer systems. If anyone received a reminder letter in error, and has not already advised us, it would assist us if they contact us either by email (to
- please put "Late return penalty" in the "Subject" line) or telephone (724711) and ask to speak to their Assessor."
The letter stated that any returns still outstanding 30 days after the issue of the reminder letter will be subject to an automatic penalty. Notwithstanding the fact that media releases, and other documents sent out by the Tax Office, during 2012 made reference to it, it is clear that some people were still surprised to hear about the potential penalty.
Taking that into account, and recognising that this was never intended to be a revenue raising initiative, the Director is prepared to grant a further one month extension to allow taxpayers to submit any outstanding returns. Therefore an initial penalty will only be imposed if the calendar year 2011 return is not submitted to the Tax Office by 15 February 2013 but late payment surcharges may be applied in cases where the late submission of the return results in additional tax owing. No further reminders will be issued, however.
Issued by: Rob Gray, Director, Income Tax Office