Under the measures outlined in a joint statement by the Chief Minister and the Treasury Minister, Jersey’s authorities expect financial service providers to ensure that they identify if any new business they take on will facilitate the use by their client of a tax avoidance scheme registered under the UK’s Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Scheme (DOTAS) or if they are involved in any transactions in which a scheme with a DOTAS reference number forms a part. In each case providers will be expected to follow correct procedures in documenting this and the Jersey Financial Services Commission will monitor the reporting as part of their compliance responsibilities.
We welcome these proactive, forward thinking measures by Jersey’s government in respect of abusive tax schemes, and support their announcement that they are working more closely with HMRC to ensure Jersey based providers are in compliance with DOTAS rules.
Jersey’s finance industry can already clearly demonstrate its track record as a cooperative, transparent and well regulated international finance centre, but in a political environment where there is increasing momentum to act against abusive tax avoidance, it is entirely appropriate for Jersey to show its commitment to that process.
The new measures will take effect on any new business introduced from 1 October 2014. Jersey Finance will be undertaking a consultation with industry in due course in relation to the issue of guidance notes that will support the introduction of these measures, and to expand on the principles advocated in the measures outlined. Details of the consultation will be available soon and I would ask as many members as possible to engage with this process.
While we want to play our part in countering abusive tax schemes, we welcome the ministers’ comments also that they support fair tax competition and have emphasised that legitimate tax planning is an appropriate response to operating cross border. Legitimate tax planning remains a key focus of our offering together with the high regulatory standards to which we adhere.”
The States of Jersey ‘Statement on abusive tax schemes’ can be viewed here.