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Jersey takes final steps to independent taxation

The government is taking the last steps towards the 'long overdue' introduction of independent taxation.

States members have unanimously agreed a the final stage of taxing couples independently.

It will finally end the century-old system that sees a married woman's earnings classed as her husband's income.

Despite the UK moving away from it in 1990, Jersey only discussed modernising its own laws in 2019, following a two-year consultation.

Treasury Minister Elaine Millar says it is embarrassing that Jersey has continued with the outdated regime, while most jurisdictions abandoned it long ago.

"The essence of this change is to treat married women as individuals in their own right in the eyes of our tax system, and not to have them as accessories to their husband who owns their income and who is responsible for all of their affairs."

Treasury Minister, Deputy Elaine Millar

It's thought the move will assist efforts to tackle violence against women and girls,  by helping to prevent financial domestic abuse, as well as promoting equality in the island between men and women and couples who may not be married.

Newly-weds will file separate tax returns. However, couples who are already married or in a civil partnership still have the choice to continue to file joint returns if they wish.

Deputy Louise Doublet had attempted to remove that option, but her amendment was thrown out (36 votes to 8) She felt it could be put vulnerable people at risk.

"It is completely obvious to me that it will happen, and I have not been presented with any evidence that it will not.

"How is a victim of domestic abuse going to save a sum of money to facilitate them leaving an abusive partner if that partner has full knowledge of and control of their finances?" 


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