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Tax Cap

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Sections 39B, 39C, 39D, 39E and the Sixth Schedule of the Income Tax Law limit the amount of tax payable by an individual resident in Guernsey/Alderney and restrict any repayments available on distributions received.

Sections 39B, 39C, 39D, 39E and the Sixth Schedule of the Income Tax Law are available here.

A summary of the tax caps and the impact these will have on your Social Security Contributions are provided below. If you would like to see more detail on the caps available, please refer to the Sixth Schedule in the link above.

The tax cap is based on the level of "qualifying" and/or "non-qualifying" income you have. If you have enough income to qualify for the tax cap, you won't be given any personal allowances. The cap is also proportioned in the year of your arrival in, or departure from, Guernsey.

If you are married or in a civil partnership, and you were jointly assessed until 2022, one cap will apply to the total income of both yourself and your spouse. If separate assessments were requested, you would have been taxed as if you were not married or in a civil partnership, and the cap would have applied, if applicable, to each of you separately.

From 1 January 2023, each spouse is treated separately and, as such, the cap applies to each individual's income. An election for the tax cap, if they have sufficient income, will need to be made by each spouse individually. Grandfathering provisions will be put in place for the Alderney and Open Market Tax Caps only (see below).

If you are able to take advantage of the cap, you don't need to complete the personal return each year with details of all of your income, but you can complete the appropriate tax cap form which is available on the downloads section of this page.

  • Cap on qualifying income

    • Generally qualifying income is any income you have from outside of Guernsey and Guernsey bank interest. The limit of tax payable on this income is £160,000 for 2024 (£150,000 for 2023). No Guernsey income (other than bank interest) can be taken into account in this cap, so if you do have other income from Guernsey you will need to pay tax at 20% on this in addition to the £160,000 (£150,000 for 2023) (subject to a further cap on qualifying and non-qualifying income - see below). Any income from Guernsey (other than bank interest) is treated as "non-qualifying income".
    • Example: Mr A is resident in Guernsey and has the following income:           
    • Qualifying income
      UK investments £400,000
      French income£640,000
      Guernsey Bank Interest £10,000
      Non-Qualifying income
      Guernsey loan interest  £15,000
      Total      £1,065,000
    • If the tax cap was not applied he would need to pay tax of £213,000 (£1,065,000 taxed at 20%, no personal allowances would be available as income is over £90,000, the limit for the withdrawal of personal allowances for 2023)
    • With the cap applied, his tax bill for 2023 would be:
    • Qualifying income - tax capped at£150,000
      Non-qualifying income£15,000 taxed at 20%: £3,000
      Total tax due£153,000
          
  • Cap on qualifying and non-qualifying income

    • If you have a high level of income from both in and outside of Guernsey, or just Guernsey income, then the maximum tax that you pay is capped at £320,000 for 2024 (£300,000 for 2023) (but this does not include income from land and property in Guernsey or income derived from Guernsey pension/annuity schemes in respect of triviality payments or lump sums above the tax free limit. Tax is due on this income in addition to the cap).
    • Example: Mr B is resident in Guernsey and has the following income:
    • Qualifying income
      UK investments £350,000
      French income£640,000
      Guernsey Bank Interest £10,000
      Non-Qualifying income
      Guernsey wages£425,000
      Guernsey rental income£19,000
      Guernsey loan interest  £250,000
      Total      £1,694,000
    • If the cap was not applied he would pay £339,000 (£1,694,000 taxed at 20%, no personal allowances would be available as income is over £90,000, the limit for the withdrawal of personal allowances for 2023)
    • With the cap applied, his tax bill for 2023 would be:
    • Qualifying and non-qualifying income - capped at£300,000
      Tax on Guernsey rental income£19,000 at 20%: £3,800
      Total tax due£303,800
  • Individuals resident in Alderney

    • A resident of Alderney, who hasn't previously been capped as above, will be capped at £50,000 on their "Alderney qualifying income", for each year from 2016 to 2025, (so long as they have been capped at this rate prior to 2024). From 1 January 2024 the cap has been increased to £65,000 and this amount will apply to anyone who qualifies for the Alderney cap for the first time in 2024 with any subsequent years charged at the relevant Alderney cap amount as set by the States of Deliberation. If the individual has previously been capped on qualifying and/or non-qualifying income, then that cap will continue to apply (£160,000 and £320,000 for 2024).

    • For an Alderney resident their "Alderney qualifying income" is income from all sources, regardless of where it is from, except for any income from Guernsey/Alderney land and property or income derived from Guernsey pension/annuity schemes in respect of triviality payments or lump sums above the tax free limit. Tax is due on this income in addition to the cap.
    • Example: Mr C is resident in Alderney and has the following income, he has not previously been capped
    • Alderney Qualifying income
      UK investments £150,000
      French income£50,000
      Guernsey Bank Interest £10,000
      Guernsey director's fees£105,000
      Guernsey loan interest£25,000
      Alderney non-qualifying income
      Guernsey rental income£12,000
      Total      £352,000
    • His tax bill for 2023 would be:
    • Alderney qualifying income£50,000
      Guernsey rent£12,000 at 20%: £2,400
      Total tax due £52,400
    • If you are married or in a civil partnership, and you were jointly assessed, the Alderney tax cap would apply to the total income of both yourself and your spouse. If separate assessments had been requested, you would be taxed as if you were not married or in a civil partnership, and the cap would apply, if applicable, to each of you separately.
    • Anyone who was jointly assessed and paid the Alderney Tax Cap in 2022, will have their joint liability grandfathered until 2025. They will then be treated independently.
    • Example: Mr and Mrs D elected for the Alderney cap in 2022. Their tax liability will be capped at £50,000 for each of the years 2022 to 2025 inclusive. With effect from 2026, they will be treated independently and will either each need to elect for the cap on qualifying/non-qualifying income (see above) or each complete a full personal tax return.

    • Example: Mr and Mrs E arrived in Alderney in 2023. As this is after the introduction of independent taxation, they will each be required to elect for the Alderney tax cap and will EACH have a liability of £50,000 for 2023, 2024 and 2025. Had they had arrived in Alderney in 2024, their liability would have been £65,000 each for 2024 and 2025 (subject to any further increases).

  • Individuals resident in Guernsey who have purchased a Part A open market property (The Open Market Tax Cap)

    • A new resident to Guernsey (who has not been resident in Guernsey in the previous 3 years) may claim the open market tax cap in the year they arrive and the following 3 years so long as they fulfil the conditions in the next paragraph. The open market cap was £50,000 for 2018 to 2023 and has increased to £60,000 in 2024. Anyone who qualified for this cap up to and including 2023, will pay the amount of £50,000, for all 4 years.  Anyone who qualifies for the open market cap from 2024 onwards will pay the amount of the open market cap as the States of Deliberation may prescribe for each calendar year. Please see the monetary values spreadsheet for the relevant amounts.

    • This cap can only be claimed if the individual has paid £50,000 or more in document duty on the purchase of a property, that is on Part A of the Open Market Register, and that property is purchased within 12 months (either before or after) they take up permanent residence in Guernsey. With effect from 2024, this has also been extended to where an individual has paid £50,000 or more in anti-avoidance duty, under the provisions of the Document Duty (Anti- Avoidance) (Guernsey) Law 2017, on the purchase of all of the shares in a company which owns a relevant property. A Form A2 can be completed, there is no need to complete a full personal tax return.
    • This Open Market Tax Cap applies in respect of both qualifying and non-qualifying income as defined above. Tax due on income arising from Guernsey land and property or income derived from Guernsey pension/annuity schemes as above would need to be paid in addition to the Open Market Cap.
    • If you are married or in a civil partnership, and you were jointly assessed, the Open Market tax cap will apply to the total income of both yourself and your spouse. If separate assessments had been requested, you would be taxed as if you were not married or in a civil partnership, and the cap would apply, if applicable, to each of you separately.
    • Anyone that has elected for the Open Market Tax Cap prior to the introduction of independent taxation, (and were jointly assessed) will have their joint liability grandfathered for the duration it applies. They will then be treated independently.
    • Example: Mr and Mrs F elected for the open market cap in 2021. Their joint tax liability will be capped at £50,000 for each of the years 2021 - 2024 inclusive. With effect from 2025, they will be treated independently and will each need to either elect for the tax cap on qualifying/non-qualifying income or submit a full personal return.

      Example: Mr and Mrs G arrived in Guernsey in 2023 and purchased a relevant property in 2023. As this is after the introduction of independent taxation, they will each be required to elect for the open market tax cap (if they each have sufficient income and the house has been purchased jointly) and will each have their liability capped at £50,000 for each of the years 2023 - 2026 inclusive. Had they purchased the property in 2023 and arrived in 2024, their liability would be capped at £60,000 each in 2024, and for the subsequent 3 years at such amounts that the States of Deliberation may prescribe for each calendar year. Please see the monetary values spreadsheet for the relevant amounts.

  • Effect on Social Security contributions

    • If you are self-employed, non-employed, or over pension age and elect to take advantage of the tax cap, you will be assessed at the maximum weekly rate for the payment of Social Security contributions. 
    • The maximum rates for 2023 (per week) are
    • Self-employed£375.84
      Non-employed£336.25
      Over Pension age£110.04

Downloads

Tax Cap return - 2022 income Tax Cap return (Alderney) - 2022 income Open Market Tax Cap return - 2022 income

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