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Independent Taxation to come into effect in 2023

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Monday 26 September 2022

A change in law allowing for Independent Taxation will take effect in 2023. The move will bring Guernsey into line with international norms and bring about a fairer and more flexible system which respects all Islanders as equal, independent individuals.

Currently for married couples, only one partner has responsibility for managing the couple's tax affairs. This change will see both partners treated as individuals, with their own individual Tax Reference Numbers and each being responsible for their own tax affairs, including submitting their own tax returns. 

The new arrangements will also bring Islanders' tax affairs in line with their social insurance contributions which are already managed and paid by individuals. 

Deputy Mark Helyar, Treasury lead for the Policy & Resources Committee said

"This is a big and important change for our tax system.   We're very pleased to see that the decision made by the States in 2020 to recognise all taxpayers as equal and independent individuals is now about to take effect, in line with the originally agreed timeframes for its introduction."   

In practical terms the change will mean that 12,000 people will become "new" customers for the Revenue Service.  The Service will be communicating directly with these individuals providing them with more information, along with their new Tax Reference Number. The Service will also be promoting information about the change through the media and on social media. Customers can read more about what the change means, how customers are affected and what they need to do, at gov.gg/independent-tax.

Nicky Forshaw, Director of the Revenue Service said 

"I'd like to thank customers in advance as this is a very big change for us and we know some people will have questions and may need some additional support as we welcome this move to Independent Taxation.  Our staff are ready to help answer questions, and importantly, the improvements we've been making to our online portal and digital services, as well as our technology behind-the-scenes should help make it a much smoother process than it would have been even just a couple of years ago." 

Importantly, although the change in law takes effect in 2023, married couples will submit their 2022 Personal Tax Return jointly. When married couples submit their 2023 Personal Tax Return in 2024, this will be the first time that it will be completed individually.

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