Guernsey tax office in U-turn over late tax return plan

Guernsey's Income Tax Office has made a U-turn on plans to delay the date by which people could complete their tax return.

Earlier islanders were told they would have to wait until February to file their online returns and a month later for their paper returns.

The Treasury and Resources Board says it has reviewed the decision and brought it forward to 20 January.

The original delay was due to a backlog of returns from the previous year.

The backlog has been going on for the past two years and the department is closed to the public one day per week to allow staff to catch up.

A spokesperson for the department said the reason for allowing earlier online submissions was to help manage workloads within the income tax office.

"The board regards tax administration as a 'customer service' to which taxpayers have a fair expectation of reasonable service standards," they said.

The spokesman for the Treasury and Resources Board admitted customer service had been below those reasonable standards.

"For a number of reasons, service levels have been sub-optimal for a year or so. We have identified that improvements in performance are an operational priority in 2014 for the management of the department."

People will still have to return their forms by 30 November.

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