E.1 General Principles
The taxation of companies and individuals is governed by the Income Tax Ordinance (1984 Reprint) a consolidation of the Income Tax Ordinances of 1952 through to 1984 as amended by subsequent Income Tax (Amendment) Ordinances. The Commissioner of Income Tax (appointed by the Governor) has responsibility for administration of the Income Tax Ordinance and for the assessment and collection of income tax. Except for bringing a prosecution for a tax offence, there is power to authorise any persons to carry out any duties imposed by the Ordinance.
Documents, information and returns are regarded as secret and confidential, and any official or other employee of the administration who does not observe this rule is guilty of an offence. Communication of such information is permitted only for carrying into effect the provisions of the Ordinance or for the purposes of a prosecution or for enabling proper double tax relief to be given. The Commissioner may allow the Principal Auditor access to documents as necessary for the performance of his official duties. The Financial and Development Secretary is also empowered to request information of the Commissioner that the Government deems necessary for the formulation of Economic Policy.
Taxation of Income and Gains
Income Tax is charged upon the following classes of income accruing in, derived from, or received in Gibraltar:
However, a person is deemed to receive income subject to tax if, even in the absence of an actual remittance of profits to Gibraltar, he obtains a benefit in Gibraltar equivalent to the receipt by him in Gibraltar of income arising outside Gibraltar.
The Tax Year
The year of assessment runs from 1 July in any year to 30 June of the next year.
The income tax in any year of assessment is usually levied on income derived during the preceding year except in the case of income from employment which is assessed on an actual basis.
With respect to employed persons, tax is deducted from wages and salaries under a system of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) as they are paid. With respect to other income, one half of the tax is payable within three months of the service of the assessment notice and the balance within six months of the service of the assessment notice or by 30 April within the year of assessment, whichever is the later.
Tax must also be deducted from dividends and interest as well as from service fees (including royalties) paid to non-residents. If the income is subject to tax in Gibraltar, the tax withheld may be credited against the recipientes tax liability in Gibraltar. In the case of an 'Exempt' company (see Section E.2, Exempt Companies) this only applies to interest payable to Gibraltarians or residents of Gibraltar.