More than 4,000 tax returns were received at Customer and Local Services (CLS) on Friday, as the deadline for islanders to file their personal tax returns closed.
In the two weeks before the deadline, with almost 25,000 returns still outstanding, hundreds of islanders visited CLS on La Motte Street to submit their returns and to seek advice.
To help meet demand over the busy tax deadline week,
- ten staff members from different areas of CLS provided additional Welcome Host cover
- a dedicated desk was set up to issue duplicate tax return forms; and
- CLS staff met daily with Revenue Jersey colleagues to discuss the previous day’s customer data, and to learn from customer feedback.
Welcome Hosts resolved an average of 1,000 customer queries per day over deadline week, and for the 975 customers that needed to see a tax officer, the average waiting time was just 11.5 minutes.
Ian Burns, the Director General for Customer and Local Services, said: “The run-up to the tax return deadline was a very busy week for CLS, but we made sure that we had additional cover, and took steps to make sure that customers were seen as quickly as possible.
“The week was a great example of the One Gov approach in practice, with colleagues from CLS and Revenue Jersey working closely together to make it easy for islanders to access government services. Our staff received plenty of positive customer feedback over the course of the week, both in person and on social media, and I would like to thank the team for making the week a success.”
Richard Summersgill, Comptroller of Taxes, added: “The last few days before the deadline are always an extremely busy time for us, but working closely with Customer and Local Services helped the Revenue Jersey team to efficiently manage the huge volume of post and customer traffic.”
Around 10,000 tax returns were not filed in time for the deadline, although this figure includes returns filed by tax agents, who have until 31 July to submit.
Mr Summersgill added that, while many customers left their tax returns to the last minute this year, he expects to see islanders’ behaviour change when online filing is introduced in spring 2020.
He said: “From next year, many customers who choose to file online will have until 31 July to make their online return and will get their tax assessment almost instantly, which will give an incentive for customers to file before the deadline. The online process will also make submitting the tax return much easier for the majority of taxpayers.”
To allow the system to assess tax returns next year, Revenue Jersey staff must input customer data held in paper files into the new system. The time and resources associated with moving to the new system means that some customers will have to wait longer than usual to receive their tax assessments this year.
Mr Summersgill added: “We apologise for the delays that moving to the new system will cause: this work is essential to make online filing possible by spring 2020.”
To help customers to know when they can expect to receive their tax assessment, Revenue Jersey will publish a monthly update on their gov.je page, to show which month of received tax returns are currently being processed.
Any customers who have had significant change of circumstance and urgently require their ITIS rate to be recalculated to manage their finances, can request this using the online request form, or by calling the personal tax team on +44(0)1534 440 300.
Government of Jersey Press Release.