Guernsey income tax office closures to continue

Guernsey's income tax office will continue to close regularly, in order to work through a backlog of assessment forms.

The telephone system will be shut down every Thursday, while the office counter will close at 14:00 GMT.

A previous three-month trial period of such closures allowed staff to reduce the number of unprocessed forms from 10,779 to 7,226 by the end of November.

The office's training manager, Chris Cox, admitted it was 40% under staffed.

'Thick skin'

Mr Cox said retirements and staff departures had meant only six assessors were available, instead of the full complement of 10.

He said: "It's not for everybody and some people have decided it isn't for them and have moved on."

Mr Cox admitted the job required people with "a thick skin" because of the reaction employees occasionally got from members of the public.

Four newly recruited assessors are due to begin their six-month training in January.

£100 fine

By the official deadline of 30 November, 29,180 forms had been submitted.

Rob Gray, the director of income tax, estimated that more than 8,000 forms were still outstanding for the calendar year 2011.

He said reminder letters were due to be issued and that fines of £100 would be applied for any taxpayers who had not submitted their forms within 30 days of receipt of those letters.

The extended programme of office closures is expected to continue until the end of March 2013.

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