Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance Limited, commented:
‘The industry supports the government’s policy of engaging in negotiations designed to ensure we comply with global standards on tax transparency and information exchange. The new agreement for automatic exchange with the UK is an important one in signalling Jersey’s further commitment to this process.
Tax evasion has been illegal in Jersey since the 1990s, there are no bank secrecy laws and regulations are in place so that Jersey entities are fully accessible under the terms of the various Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs), which the Jersey authorities have signed with individual regulators globally. This milestone agreement with the UK reinforces our commitment to tax information exchange and adds further to the existing measures designed to prevent tax evasion through Jersey by UK resident tax payers.’
The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, signed the IGA on behalf of Jersey in London today (October 22). Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt Hon David Gauke, MP, signed on behalf of the UK.
The IGA with the UK – similar in form to the FATCA agreement currently being concluded with the United States – is one of a number of measures announced by the Jersey authorities this year on international tax matters..
In the summer, it was announced that Jersey’s Council of Ministers is to ask the States of Jersey to introduce regulations that will make it mandatory from 1 January, 2015, for Jersey automatically to exchange tax information under the EU Savings Tax Directive. The Jersey authorities have also committed to joining the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and confirmed their willingness to participate in the European ‘G5 pilot’ aimed at developing a single standard for improving the automatic exchange of tax information.
Geoff Cook added:
‘These moves, together with the island’s numerous Tax Information Exchange Agreements and Double Tax Agreements, are evidence of the willingness of the Jersey authorities to co-operate with other nations in respect of tax matters. From an industry perspective, we know there is work to be done in the coming months to ensure we meet the operational requirements of the UK IGA. However, the Agreement will also help to strengthen our reputation in key markets abroad where we are consistently recognised as being a co-operative jurisdiction adhering to globally prescribed standards both in the tax information exchange arena and in regulatory matters more generally.