The Economic Activity Return seeks to collect information on economic activity in Guernsey and Alderney to improve the accuracy of the Factor Income, Gross Value Added (GVA) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures and forecasts that are published by the States of Guernsey. Around 500 employers with operations across a range of sectors are selected to complete a Return each year. Selected employers will need to provide information on their income and expenditure over the past two years and forecast or budgeted income and expenditure for the next two years.
Selected employers will be sent a letter to inform them that they are required to complete an Economic Activity Return. Only those that are sent such a notification are required to complete a return. Employers will be selected as follows:
- All employers in Guernsey (including Guernsey, Herm, Jethou and Lihou) with more than 25 employees will be selected every year.
- A representative sample of remaining employers in Guernsey, selected from across all business sectors. The employers selected will be rotated from year to year, but some may be included for two consecutive years to ensure statistical integrity.
- All employers in Alderney (initially, with a review of this approach being undertaken in 2024). For employers operating from both Alderney and Guernsey, a separate return will be required regarding each entity.
By the end of April 2023, all the notifications had been issued (by post) to those required to complete a Return in 2023.
The 2023 Return deadline was 31st July.
Expand for more information on why employers need to provide additional information
- To date, information provided by companies and sole-traders to the Revenue Service (for Income Tax purposes) has been used to make these calculations. However, this is not the best practice and does not give the most accurate figures, since taxable profits are not always the same as "gross operating surpluses", which Factor Incomes, Gross Value Added (GVA) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should be based on. The gap has widened as businesses have become more globalise.
- Furthermore, tax return deadlines are sometimes more than six months after first estimates of Factor Incomes, GVA and GDP are expected to be published. By relying solely on this data, a lot of information is missing when first estimates are published and they often subsequently get significantly revised.
- The Economic Activity Return seeks the exact information that is needed and with a deadline that is aligned to to publication schedule for these figures. Employers can submit estimates figures if the deadline falls before figures have been finalised. The practice of seeking data directly from employers for these statistics is already well established in Jersey and the UK.
- Further background information on these changes, can be found here: https://gov.gg/article/150854/States-Meeting-on-27th-October-2015-Billets-XIX-Budget-and-XVIII
Expand for more information on the 2021 Economic Activity Return Pilot
- A pilot was undertaken from April to July of 2021, during which an online return form and printable questionnaire were tested out. This was promoted by various business groups, in the Guernsey Press and via social and other media channels, see this media release regarding the launch and this media release regarding the close.
- Over 40 organisations completed the pilot and provided valuable feedback, which has been actioned wherever possible.
- Some further improvements to the online form were included in 2023.
Expand for more information on Factor Incomes, GVA and GDP
- Factor Income is calculated as the sum of:
- Compensation of employees (which includes remuneration in the form of wages paid to employees plus estimates of pension and social security contributions paid on their behalf by their employer)
- Gross operating surplus of corporations and public sector trading body surpluses
- Mixed income (the remuneration and profits of sole traders)
- The following are added to Factor Income to calculate GVA:
- Taxes on production (such as, TRP) net of subsidies on production (such as COVID-19 related business support payments)
- Income of households (rental income and owner occupied imputed rents, net of maintenance costs and borrowing costs)
- To calculate GDP, taxes on products (such as excise duties) are added and subsidies on products (such as the Dairy milk grants) are netted off GVA
- The latest figures can be found here https://gov.gg/gdp
Expand for more information on how GVA and GDP are used by the States of Guernsey and others
- GVA is one of the main measures used to determine the size of and value generated by each sector of Guernsey's economy in any particular year. GVA per worker is the closest thing to a productivity measure that Guernsey has at present.
- GDP and GDP per capita growth rates provide an indication of the level of activity in an economy and whether the economy is growing or receding.
- Governments rely on GDP when deciding how much public spending is affordable, for example how much money should be invested in infrastructure or donated to overseas aid.
- GDP per capita figures and growth rates are also used to make comparisons with other jurisdictions, determine sovereign credit ratings and in the promotion of the Island. Policy makers rely on GDP figures and forecasts when making decisions on tax and trade policies. In the private sector, employers may use GDP figures and forecasts to make assumptions about economic growth and decisions on whether to expand or hire more people.
Expand for more information on how employers are selected, legal obligations to complete a Return and how data is protected by the States of Guernsey
- The return is mandatory for all those selected, who will be sent a letter and/or email to notify them that they have been selected. Employers will be selected as follows:
- All employers in Guernsey and Alderney with more than 25 employees. It will be an annual requirement for those employing more than 25 people.
- An additional representative sample of remaining employers in Guernsey from a range of business sectors. The employers selected will be rotated from year to year, but some may be included for two consecutive years to ensure statistical integrity.
- All employers in Alderney initially, with a review of this approach in 2024.
- The Economic Statistics (Guernsey and Alderney) Law 2019 enables the States of Guernsey to require this information to be provided. All information provided is treated (in accordance with the Economic Statistics (Guernsey and Alderney) Law 2019) as strictly confidential and will be used solely by the Economic Statistics Supervisor and their officers in the Data and Analysis Service to compile aggregate statistics, such as GVA and GDP. The States of Guernsey will process any personal data provided within the Return in accordance with the Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017. Further information about how your personal data is processed by the States of Guernsey can be found here and in the Data & Analysis Fair Processing Notice, which can be downloaded from here.
- Failure to complete the return may lead to financial penalties and fines being imposed. If a return is not submitted by the deadline by a selected employer, an initial penalty may be imposed (which must not exceed £1,000), followed by further daily penalties (maximum £50 per day) until the return is received. Penalties can also be applied for incomplete or incorrectly submitted returns.
- However, the Data and Analysis team will make contact as the deadline is nearing and help resolve any issues that may prevent a Return from being submitted on time.
- If you provide knowingly false or misleading information, persons found guilty would be liable on summary conviction for imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to a fine not exceeding level twice 5 on the uniform scale.
- However, estimated figures will be acceptable if exact figures cannot be provided and the Data and Analysis team will provide support as needed to make the return process as quick and easy as possible.
The Return can be completed using either the online form or in PDF [253kb] or Excel [51kb] format and sent to us via secure upload or by post to:
Data and Analysis
Sir Charles Frossard House
St Peter Port
If you choose the online form option, you are strongly advised to look through the Return (in PDF [253kb] or Excel [51kb] format) and the further detailed Guidance Notes and prepare (and save your own copy of) your answers BEFORE STARTING THE ONLINE FORM.