Responding to articles in today’s edition of The Times, Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, said: “While we cannot comment on specific schemes, which are a matter for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to consider and review, Jersey’s position on tax evasion is very clear; tax evasion is illegal in Jersey and it is criminal offence to facilitate or engage in tax evasion. Jersey is, and remains, one of the best regulated international finance centres in the world, a position that is regularly acknowledged by independent assessments from some of the world’s leading global bodies, including the OECD and IMF.
Mr Cook added: In our view, conflation between illegal tax evasion and legal tax avoidance, or tax planning, is unhelpful in moving any wider debate forward and the articles in today’s edition of The Times raise some important points in this area. The editorial leader describes the complex system of British tax reliefs as ‘byzantine’ and calls for ‘lower’ and ‘simpler’ taxes. In addition, the UK government has recently launched its consultation on a General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR), with recommendations from Graham Aaronson QC. It is this sort of informed debate and intelligent legislative development that can provide greater clarity and certainty for all parties and which we welcome as a positive way to develop the business of international finance.”