Measures to support taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic
Government understands the challenges facing taxpayers during this Coronavirus pandemic. Many businesses and particularly those operating in critically affected sectors such as hospitality, agriculture and fishing are experiencing cash flow and trading difficulties.
During these challenging times, Revenue Jersey wants to reassure taxpayers experiencing temporary issues that are creating worry and anxiety. We are committed to working with taxpayers to provide guidance and help to resolve any such difficulties.
This guidance will be reviewed on a regular basis in the light of ongoing developments.
We encourage affected businesses to take the following practical steps.
Paying your taxes
Taxpayers who are in a position to pay their taxes by the due date should do so. These revenues are required to maintain essential services for those Islanders in most need of support over the coming months.
Below are details of the arrangements currently in place to assist with payment of taxes.
The Government of Jersey has issued guidance on a range of business supports, including the postponement of GST payments relating to monthly and quarterly returns for the accounting periods ending:
31 March 2020
30 April 2020
31 May 2020
30 June 2020
This postponement is conditional on returns continuing to be filed on time for these accounting periods.
GST Direction 2020/01
Repayments are being prioritised as many businesses impacted by the lockdown and social distancing measures will now be in a repayment position as their turnover will have fallen drastically but many of their costs will continue.
Personal income tax payment on account
Personal income tax payers who are due to make a payment by 30 November can make a request to defer the payment if current circumstances prevent them from making the payment on time.
Request extra time to pay your tax
Emergency review of ITIS Effective Rate
These reviews are currently only available if your income has significantly reduced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We will reduce your effective rate if:
your income has significantly reduced
your spouse or partner has lost their job, or suffered a significant reduction in income
This is a short term measure to help those most in need. For some taxpayers, a reduction in effective rate may lead to an underpayment of tax for this year or the previous year. Therefore care needs to be taken in reducing effective rates and each case will be dealt with based on the facts. If you pay tax on a previous year basis, your rate will be reduced for an initial period of 3 months.
To request an emergency review of your ITIS effective rate
email Revenue Jersey using ‘Emergency ITIS Rate Review’ as your subject header.
You must also include in your email your:
TIN or tax reference
an explanation of your circumstances
We will aim to contact you within 48 hours.
If you don't have access to email a limited phone service is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Corporate income tax
Companies with a positive rate of income tax should make a payment on account by 31 March (large companies only) or 31 May 2020. No penalties will be charged for late payment, but if a company has not made a payment without good reason, it can be taken to court.
Employer ITIS payments
All deductions made from employees should be remitted to Revenue Jersey on or before the 15th day of the following month.
Revenue Jersey will not consider the delayed payment of ITIS remittances, nor requests not to take Direct Debits. Employers that are consistently non-compliant will continue to be sent default assessments and court action could be taken against employers that fail to pay over their employees’ deductions.
Where a businesses is supported by the Government co-funded payroll scheme (phases 1 and 2), the wages paid to employees are gross rather than net, and are therefore subject to tax and social security contributions in the usual way. Throughout the operation of the scheme businesses must continue to deduct ITIS and contributions from their staff, and file periodic returns as normal.
Relief for trading losses
If you are self-employed or in a partnership, there are two ways you can claim relief for any trading losses made. You can make a claim to offset the loss against other sources of income in the same year of assessment, or you can make a claim to carry back the loss to the previous year of assessment. If you carry back the loss, it can only be offset against profits from the same trade. You can also claim for relief using a combination of the two.
You must make a claim within 2 years of the end of the year of assessment.
Expenses and working from home during COVID-19
Revenue Jersey is adopting practical policies with regard to expenses incurred when individuals are required to work from home and are reimbursed by their employers.
There are two polices which are separated by the Government of Jersey advice on coronavirus and Safe Exit Framework levels.
Covers any period of time where Government of Jersey advises individuals to physically distance 2 metres and work from home wherever possible. The time periods Policy 1 covers are:
- Friday 20 March 2020, 8 August 2020. (The date the Government entered level 1 of the Safe Exit Framework).
- Tuesday 1 December 2020, until such time Government re-enters level 1 of the Safe Exit Framework.
Applies whilst level 1 of the Safe Exit Framework measures are in place. This policy has a more targeted approach where homeworking expenses can be deducted in certain circumstances.
Homeworking expenses policy 1
Where the employer covers the cost of working from home during this period, these payments can be ignored for tax purposes when they are £10 or less per week. These expenses do not need to be declared by the employer on their ITIS returns and should not be included on the personal tax return.
No reimbursement from employer
Those employees who have to work from home but who do not receive any type of compensation from their employer may claim a flat rate of £10 per week to cover any costs incurred (heat, light, telephone, internet etc). This claim should be made in the employment expenses section of your 2020 income tax return.
Employers who are paying flat-rate expenses to their employees which exceed £10 per week must include these sums in their employers ITIS return and the employee must keep records of the expenditure incurred and may make a detailed claim on their 2020 income tax return.
Homeworking expenses policy 2
Where an employer requires an employee to work from home (for example on a rota basis due to a need for social distancing and Covid risk management) payments made to cover the cost of homeworking can be ignored for tax purposes, provided they are £10 or less per week (pro-rated if homeworking is less than a full week).
If the sum exceeds £10 per week then the employer must include these sums in their employers ITIS return. The employee must keep records of the expenditure incurred and may make a detailed claim on their annual income tax return.
However, payments made to cover the cost of home working made by employers to employees who choose to work from home during Level 1 of the Safe Exit Framework are taxable. This includes where the employer offers a choice of homeworking to its employees under a home working policy. Employers must include these sums in their employers ITIS return.
If there is any element of choice for the employee to work from home, the full subsidy is taxable.
No reimbursement from employer
Those employees who are required or contractually obliged by their employer to work from home and who do not receive any type of compensation from their employer may claim a flat rate of £10 per week to cover any costs incurred, for example heat, light, telephone, internet etc (pro-rated if homeworking is less than a full week). This claim should be made in the employment expenses section of your annual income tax return
If there is any element of choice for the employee to work from home, no deduction may be claimed.
Non-taxable benefits provided to employees
COVID-19 testing for employees
COVID-19 testing provided to an employee by their employer will be exempt from tax. Employers therefore do not need to include the cost of such testing on their annual Benefit in Kind return.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The provision of PPE to employees who are required to wear such PPE is not a Benefit in Kind and is non-taxable.
Equally, if an employee requires PPE to carry out their role and the employer reimburses the cost to the employee, this is non-taxable. In such instances employees cannot claim tax relief on these expenses in their annual tax return.
Laptops, tablets, computers, and office supplies whilst home working
The provision of business laptops, tablets, computers, and office supplies is not a Benefit in Kind and is non- taxable. This is provided they are mainly used for business purposes and there is no significant private use.
Temporary business accommodation
Where an employer pays or reimburses the cost of overnight accommodation and subsistence as part of qualifying business travel (for example, where the employee is on business and cannot travel owing to government restrictions or lockdown), the expense is not taxable.
Taxable benefits provided to employees
Paying transport costs
If an employer pays for the cost of an employee’s transport from work to home, this is a taxable benefit. This is because journeys between an employee’s workplace and home are private journeys. Employers must include these sums in their Benefit in Kind return.
In some circumstances there is an exemption from paying tax on this benefit. For this to happen, either of the following two conditions must be met:
transport provided within the Island between place of work and home where the employee is working unsocial hours, defined as between 10pm and 6am
transport provided in the Island between place of work and home for severely disabled employees.
Tax debts (arrears)
Any business that foresees problems paying their debt should engage with the Treasury and Exchequer Debt Management Team to discuss their time to pay arrangements.
Cases of hardship will be treated sympathetically.
Contact the Treasury and Exchequer Debt Management Team, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm by:
Filing tax returns
We ask taxpayers to file returns online where it is possible to do so. Other matters that might ordinarily be done by paper (such as lodging an appeal) should be communicated electronically where possible.
An online form to do this will be available shortly.
Taxpayers should continue to file all tax returns on time for:
- GST returns
- ITIS (employer and sub-contractor) returns
- Corporate tax returns
- Personal Income Tax returns
It is important that the Government maintains up-to-date information about tax liabilities due throughout 2020.
The information they contain is needed to help Government manage the reliefs it's providing to business, and to manage Government income forecasting and cash flow through this difficult time when it needs to optimise the help it can give to businesses and individuals.
We will exercise our discretion under the law as regards late filing of GST and ITIS returns in grave and exceptional circumstances.
Request extra time to file
Personal tax online return
File your tax return online
Tell us about a change of address
Update your contact details
Get a copy of your ITIS rate or update your salary information
Request a replacement tax effective rate
You can also find answers to common queries on the Revenue Jersey pages of the website:
Videos and guides to help you fill out your personal tax return
Allowances, reliefs and deductions for income tax
Understanding your tax assessment
How you pay your tax
GST zero rating for the supply of staff
GST Direction 2020/02 provides for temporary zero-rating of the supply of staff to facilitate employers who keep people in employment and use them flexibly to support other businesses.
The Direction applies to all supplies of staff made in Jersey by GST registered businesses which take place between 19 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 inclusive.
GST Direction 2020/02
GST cash accounting for small businesses
The cash accounting scheme allows you to account for GST when you receive payment, which is usually later, and may be in a later return period. This means that you will not have to pay GST until you have been paid by your customers.
The maximum taxable turnover limit in the last 12 months, has been increased to £1,250,000. This will allow more businesses to join the scheme.
How the cash accounting scheme works
Economic substance and corporate tax residency
Where company operating practices have to be adjusted to compensate for the Covid-19 outbreak, the Comptroller of Revenue will not determine under Article 6, Taxation (Companies- Economic Substance) (Jersey) Law 2019, that a company has failed the economic substance test.
Where a company incorporated in another jurisdiction has been tax resident on the basis of control and management in Jersey, and the Comptroller considers that any changes dictated by the Coronavirus are temporary, then this will not disturb the determination of corporate tax residence from that prevailing before this outbreak.
Read more about coronavirus and economic substance
Tax residency for individuals
Ignoring days spent in the Island due to exceptional circumstances
It has been Revenue Jersey's practice, where there are exceptional circumstances, to ignore for tax residency tests, additional days spent in the island as a result of those circumstances.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may impact your ability to move freely to and from Jersey or require you to remain unexpectedly in the island.
Exceptional circumstances include if you are:
quarantined or advised by a health professional or public health guidance to self-isolate in Jersey as a result of the virus
- following official Government advice not to travel from Jersey as a result of the virus
- unable to leave Jersey as a result of the closure of international borders
- asked by your employer to return to Jersey temporarily as a result of the virus
Where you have been affected by any of the above you must keep evidence that demonstrates that you were prevented from travelling when intended (for example details of cancelled flights) which can be produced to Revenue Jersey in due course if required.
This guidance applies only to individuals who are not normally resident or ordinarily resident in Jersey.
Residency for Jersey income tax
Electronic communications and signatures
We understand that in this current period it may be difficult to obtain written signatures on returns, documents or applications made to the Comptroller of Revenue.
Therefore where it is not possible to obtain written signatures, we will accept documents that either contain digital or scanned signature(s) or an email confirming that a person agrees to the signing of a document.
This confirmation, together with the relevant return, document or application, will be filed with Revenue Jersey, and may be relied upon as evidence as to the validity of the document if so challenged in the future.