Tuesday 18 March 2014
The Income Tax Office will be writing to around 3,200 Islanders this week who have incurred penalties for the late filing of their 2012 tax returns.
The letters will notify individuals and companies of the £10 daily penalties that have been imposed for the late filing of their returns since the original £100 penalty was levied on 20 January. In around 2,000 cases, the returns are yet to be filed and the daily penalties are continuing to be imposed. The remaining 1,200 cases involve individuals and companies who have now filed their returns and, for these Islanders, the letters will explain to them the total penalties that have accrued between the 20th January and the date of filing.
A spokesman for the Office explained:
"The Income Tax Office did issue reminders last December about submitting returns and we were pleased to note that some 7,500 Islanders took action as a result of these reminders and filed their returns before penalties were imposed. Nevertheless, it was still necessary to issue around 4,500 penalty notices and, whilst 2,500 took action following the issue of the initial penalty, there are still 2,000 cases where a return has not been filed. It is disappointing that there seems to be a hard core of taxpayers who have still failed to file, despite all attempts to encourage them to do so. This is not fair on all other taxpayers who fulfil their own obligations and it is also wasteful of public resources in chasing them all up. We would urge anyone who is in this group to now file their return as soon as possible."
It is important to note that appeals against the original penalty order can only be made within 30 days of the order itself, so anybody wishing to appeal now would have to satisfy the Guernsey Tax Tribunal that they have grounds for submitting a late appeal. Late appeals can only be accepted if the Tribunal is satisfied that it was a result of absence, sickness or other reasonable cause. There is no right of appeal against the letters being issued this week, except where the customer believes the amount of the continuing penalty is wrong. Guidance on making an appeal is available on the Income Tax Office website at: https://www.gov.gg/taxationfaq