FAQs 2022 Rates – the Annual Return Form
In January each year the Parish Constable is obliged by the Rates (Jersey Law 2005 to send out and gather in information of ALL owners of properties and land in St Lawrence. This is done using the Annual Returns (known to us as ARFs), we are happy to answer your queries:
Q. Nothing has changed, why do you waste time sending me this each year? A. We are obliged to under Article 3(1) of the ‘Rates Law’ and you are obliged to reply. Additional obligations of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 require us to check that data we hold about individuals (rate payers) is accurate and up to date.
Q. I have not received anything in the mail and it’s mid-January, what next? A. Some owners have specified during the prior year to switch from paper ARFs to email/online versions. Please check your spam/junk folder. We do not send email versions unless you have opted in for this. Please call the Parish Rates Administrator on 861672 if you cannot find your ARF as soon as possible.
Q. My mobile number has changed since last year and so I cannot get the verification code for the online return? A. Please call the Parish Rates Administrator on 861672 so that we can update your mobile number.
Q. We have a new tenant moving in soon, so what do I write in Section B? A. You must only enter details of the occupier as at 1st JANUARY. If it is vacant on 1 JAN leave the details blank. For dwellings let UNfurnished, and if the prior tenant lived there on 1 JAN, ensure their details are entered in full, including a forwarding address (as they are responsible for this year’s rate bill). Owners are responsible for occupiers’ rates of FURNISHED property. Many new owners/landlords enter into agreements in relation to pro rata bills, but we will follow the Law; call us if you need advice.
Q. I inherited a property in Summer last year, it is not listed on Section B of the ARF? A. Please call the Parish Rates Administrator on 861672 or email [email protected] so that we can check the property acquisition details with you.
Q. There seems to be an error in the property spec details, it is missing our conservatory? A. Please annotate any corrections for us to update in the database. For material changes such as rebuilds or adding an extension, provide the dimensions and/or copies of plans. A Rates Assessor may be in touch to discuss the details.
Q. I find form filling difficult and worry about doing it wrong? A. We are very happy to help. You can bring the form into the Parish Hall or call the Parish Rates Administrator for advice anytime on 861672.
Q. When is the deadline for the St Lawrence ARF to be back with you for this year? A. Please ensure the form is signed and back with us by 20 Jan 2022. Every ARF (in excess of 2000 forms) are manually processed by the Parish team and overseen by the Rates Assessment Committee (the Committee); we must complete the task within a certain time frame to comply with our obligations pursuant to the Law.
Q. What happens next? A. Once all the ARFs are in and processed, the Rates List for St Lawrence is declared complete and ready for approval. In due course, a Notice of Rate Assessment will be sent to you (around June time), summarising the Committee’s review of your ARF, it will state how many “Quarters” the land/dwelling is; it is not a bill. Quarters are an historic Jersey measurement. You will be given time to review and appeal it. Thereafter, a Parish Assembly is announced (via our website, the Jersey Gazette and the JEP) at which the parishioners/rate payers set a Rate that will be sufficient to cover the budgeted costs of running the Parish for the new financial year (1 May to 30 Apr). After that Parish Assembly, the Rate Bill will be raised and sent to you, it is payable on demand.
We are here to help you, email [email protected] or call 861672
More formal information about Rates here: https://stlawrence.je/about-rates/
A copy of the Law is available from : www.jerseylaw.je