With a 2.5% growth forecast in 2015, highest ever employment levels and trade deficit figures ‘the best in 15 years’, George Osborne’s budget presented a series of initiatives to accelerate the drive towards a stronger economy.

Strong economic performance and future estimates were the primary focus as the Chancellor claimed that Britain was ‘walking tall again’, and with deficit reduction remaining a key priority.

These positive trends in the UK economy are naturally welcomed by Jersey due to the symbiotic nature of our relationship. Jersey helps generate around £2.3 billion in tax revenues in the UK each year and supports 180,000 British jobs. £1 in every £20 invested into the UK from abroad is facilitated via Jersey. Positive signs of recovery in the UK will therefore benefit the island and should be welcomed.

Measures in the continuing drive to address tax evasion and avoidance are set out below:

  • A tougher ‘last chance’ disclosure facility will be offered between 2016 and mid-2017
  • Widening of the current scope of the Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes regime
  • Introduction of a new penalty based on the amount of tax that is tackled by the GAAR
  • More accelerated payment notices will now be issued than previously announced
  • Targeted anti-avoidance rule to level the playing field between the majority of companies, who follow the rules, and those others who side step them
  • Diverted Profits Tax – legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2015 for a new tax on diverted profits from 1 April 2015  

We fully support initiatives to eradicate abusive tax avoidance and enhancing transparency is something we have endorsed on an international level. The UK’s approach to this key issue is reflective of our own efforts to ensure we meet international standards, through Automatic Exchange of Information agreements with the US and UK, and our commitment to G7, G20, and OECD standards of cooperation.

Along with the UK, Jersey is also one of more than 50 countries to sign up to early adoption of the OECD Common Reporting Standard on automatic exchange of information, underlining our firm commitment to fully comply with global initiatives.