Fears over 'lack of income tax staff' in Guernsey

There may not be enough staff at Guernsey's Income Tax Office to deal with a new international tax agreement.

The department is currently closed to the public one day a week while it tries to deal with a returns backlog.

As the island's States approved a tax deal with the US, Deputy Michelle Le Clerc raised concerns staff will struggle with the extra workload.

Chief Minister Peter Harwood said he had been assured by the income tax authority that it can cope.

He said the Treasury and Resources Department has also put aside "additional resources" for these international obligations.

The Income Tax Office started closing to the public on Thursday in August 2012 as a short-term measure, which has been repeatedly extended.

'Outweigh the costs'

Complying with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which deputies agreed between Guernsey and the US earlier, will mean more work for the Income Tax Office.

Deputy Harwood said the finance industry was behind the move, the benefits of which "will outweigh the immediate costs".

Deputy Le Clerc supported the agreement but questioned if the "amount of pressure and work put on the office" had been "underestimated".

Treasury Minister Gavin St Pier said funding for extra resources to deal with this international deal was already in place.

The island is currently negotiating the same agreement with the UK.

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