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Key Information

Jersey is a compliant and cooperative jurisdiction, meeting international standards set by a number of worldwide organisations and international regulatory bodies; from the European Union (EU) to the Organisation for Economic cooperation and Development (OECD), and from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to MONEYVAL (and many others). Jersey is a truly an international island with Tax Information Agreements (TIEAs), Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs), Bilateral and international treaties and signed Multilateral Conventions with countries from across the globe.

Jersey continues to strive toward tighter regulation and continually amends policy to ensure the island remains compliant to the latest international standards and regulations, and where possible excel partner jurisdictions in the swift and comprehensive implementation of policy and regulation. This drive has led to the Island being internationally recognised as a leading body in the development and implementation of robust regulation in regard to tax. The Island is recognised as an active and reliable, cooperative partner of the EU and the wider international community, and takes an active role in a number of working groups designing and developing international standards.

Jersey is dedicated to meeting international standards. When you move your businesses to Jersey or relocate as a High Value Resident, you can relax in the knowledge that you are within a secure and compliant jurisdiction, ensuring the protection of your assets and reputation.

On this page:

 

Jersey’s International Position

The Bailiwick of Jersey is British Crown Dependency, it is not part of the United Kingdom. The Island therefore enjoys a high degree of autonomy, including our own fiscal and judicial systems. Jersey receives no financial subsidy from the UK or the EU. The Island is considered a third country (i.e. it sits outside the EU) but by virtue of Protocol 3 of the UK’s Accession Treaty, Jersey is part of the Customs Union and is also within the Single Market for the purposes of trade in goods.

 

An Introduction to tax & policy in Jersey

Jersey’s tax policies are underpinned by strong general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) and are based on two key principles; non-discrimination between resident and non-resident owned companies; and tax neutrality combined with transparency and information exchange. Furthermore, unlike in many other countries, in Jersey there are no allowances or exemptions which have the effect of producing effective rates of corporate tax much lower than the headline rate. As the Island has a relatively simple tax structure there is no need for the tax rulings found in many other countries, however the Island has committed under BEPS to the automatic exchange of any tax rulings that might be made.

The Island is committed to meeting international standards set, including those developed by the OECD. The OECD Convention was extended to Jersey in 1990. OECD Decisions and Recommendations apply to Jersey to the same degree as they do to the UK, unless the contrary is specifically stated in a particular instance.

 

The exchange of information on request (eoir) - jersey's tieas & dtas

As an International Finance Centre, Jersey acts as a ‘financial entrepôt’ by facilitating the investment of funds into European Financial markets which have been drawn from around the globe. The return to the investors is taxed in their home country and the business activity generated by the investment in Europe is taxed in the jurisdiction where said activity takes place. This therefore requires Jersey to comply with international standards on information exchanges and transparency. For jurisdictions where a fund is registered which lack a fully functional double taxation treaty networks with EU Member States (EU MS), tax neutrality ensures investors are not penalised. Under multilateral and bilateral agreements, Jersey forwards relevant information to the jurisdictions concerned, to aid in accurate tax assessments.

Jersey has pledged its full support for the transparency principals which are central to the current EU tax initiatives, the G20, and the OECD. Jersey has a joint interest with the EU in tackling tax evasion, fraud and aggressive tax avoidance, and with this in mind will help in and agree to, the development and effective implementation of internationally agreed standards, including those set by the Financial Action task Force (FATF) and the OECD.

In 2003 Jersey voluntarily committed to the principles of the EU’s Code of Conduct on Business Taxation and in 2011 the Island’s corporate tax regime was assessed by the Code peer review process and found to be compliant.

In 2004 under the EU Savings Directive (EUSD) Jersey voluntarily entered into bilateral agreements with all EU members states NB: the EUSD has now been repealed and replaced with the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) of which Jersey is also committed – see next section.

Jersey has signed and ratified numerous Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) and Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs). Therefore the Island has legal frameworks for EOIR with all EU MS, either through a TIEA /or/ DTA /or/ through the Council of Europe/OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAC). NB: The information on this page in regard to existing and future TIEAs, DTAs and MAC agreements was correct as at 1 February 2019.

In 2017 the latest assessments conducted by the OECD Global Forum found Jersey to be fully compliant in respect of EOIR. These assessments were based on the revised Global Forum’s terms of reference which place a greater emphasis on the accessibility and availability of ultimate beneficial ownership information.

Jersey has TIEAs with 39 countries these are listed below in alphabetical order (not in order of date of entry into force).

  • Argentina  

  • Brazil

  • Czech Republic  

  • France 

  • Iceland 

  • Italy  

  • Mexico  

  • Poland  

  • South Africa  

  • Turkey  

  • Austria

  • Canada   

  • Denmark  

  • Germany 

  • India

  • Japan   

  • Netherlands 

  • Portugal  

  • Spain

  • UK

  • Australia

  • Chile

  • Faroes

  • Greenland 

  • Indonesia 

  • Korea

  • New Zealand

  • Romania 

  • Sweden  

  • USA

  • Belgium

  • China (PR)         

  • Finland

  • Hungary

  • Ireland

  • Latvia

  • Norway

  • Slovenia

  • Switzerland 

 

 

In addition to the above, Jersey is involved in TIEA negotiations with 4 other jurisdictions, which each have had well advanced draft agreements exchanged. These jurisdictions are:

  • Bulgaria
  • Kenya
  • Lithuania
  • Slovakia

 

However, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia have signed and entered into force the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Kenya is also a signatory to the Convention and it is expected to enter into force shortly. The Convention provides the equivalent immediate exchange of information upon request, so it is therefore expected that these four jurisdictions will not continue TIEA negotiations but rely solely on the Convention.

 

Jersey has DTAs with the 15 countries listed below (these have been placed in alphabetical order):

  • Cyprus

  • Guernsey  

  • Isle of Man     

  • Lichtenstein 

  • Mauritius       

  • Rwanda   

  • Singapore  

  • UK 

  • Estonia   

  • Hong Kong China          

  • Luxembourg  

  • Malta

  • Qatar   

  • Seychelles  

  • UAE

 

 

Jersey is also in DTA negotiations with 14 other jurisdictions where agreements have been requested, initiated or drafted, these countries include:

  • Bahrain

  • China (PR)

  • India

  • Lesotho   

  • Nigeria    

  • South   Africa

  • Uganda

  • Botswana

  • Ghana

  • Kenya

  • Malawi

  • Saudi Arabia 

  • Swaziland     

  • Zambia

 

The 51 jurisdictions with whom Jersey does not have bilateral TIEAs or DTAs but whom Jersey are a party with (signed & entered into force) through the OECD/ Council of Europe Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAC) are listed below in alphabetical order. The Convention which Jersey came party with on 1 June 2014 allows for the exchange of information on request on the same basis as bilateral TIEAs. It is therefore possible that some jurisdictions with whom TIEA negotiations have begun, may decide to rely on the Multilateral Convention rather than progress with the TIEA.

  • Albania

  • Bahrain

  • Colombia

  • Ghana

  • Jamaica

  • Lithuania

  • Monaco

  • Panama

  • Saint Vincent & the Grenadines 

  • Slovak Republic

  • Vanuatu

  • Andorra

  • Barbados

  • Cook Islands

  • Greece

  • Kazakhstan

  • Macau

  • Nauru

  • Peru

  • Samoa

  • Tunisia

 

  • Antigua & Barbuda

  • Belize

  • Costa Rica

  • Grenada

  • Kuwait

  • Malaysia

  •  Nigeria

  • Russia

  • San Marino

  • Uganda

 

  • Azerbaijan

  • Bulgaria

  • Croatia

  • Guatemala

  • Lebanon

  • Marshal islands

  • Niue

  • Saint Kitts & Nevis

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Ukraine

 

  • Bahamas

  • Cameroon

  • Georgia

  • Israel

  • Liechtenstein

  • Moldova

  • Pakistan

  • Saint Lucia

  • Senegal

  • Uruguay

 

 

There are 47 jurisdictions who are party (signed and in force) to the Multilateral Convention (MAC) and with whom Jersey also has signed TIEAs or DTAS. These jurisdictions have been listed below in alphabetical order.

 

  • Argentina

  • Canada

  • Denmark

  • Hong Kong

  • Ireland

  • Liechtenstein

  • Netherlands

  • Qatar

  • South

  • UAE

  • Australia

  • Chile

  • Estonia

  • Hungary

  • Italy

  • Luxembourg

  • New Zealand

  • Romania

  • Spain

  • UK

  • Austria

  • China (PR)

  • Finland

  • Iceland

  • Japan 

  • Malta

  • Norway

  • Seychelles

  • Sweden

 

  • Belgium

  • Cyprus

  • France

  • India

  • Korea (Republic)

  • Mauritius

  • Poland

  • Singapore

  • Switzerland

 

  • Brazil

  • Czech Republic 

  • Germany 

  • Indonesia 

  • Latvia

  • Mexico

  • Portugal

  • Slovenia

  • Turkey

 

 

 

THE Automatic exchange of Information (aeoi)

In 2013 Jersey committed to join the G5 countries initiative to create and pilot an international standard for AEOI between tax authorities. In late 2013, under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) the Island signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the US and also an IGA with the UK (this was based on FATCA). In addition to and following this, in 2014, Jersey formally subscribed to the MAC.

Building on the 2013 G5 initiative, in 2014 Jersey committed to the early adoption of the global Common Reporting Standard (CRS) on AEOI. As a further step towards implementation of the CRS, Jersey was among over 50 jurisdictions in 2014 to sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) with EU MS. This limited the information to the interest income of individuals and so in 2016 it was replaced by AEOI under the CRS. The CRS provides information on a much wider range of entities and financial information, delivering much that same outcome as the EU’s agreements with Andorra, Switzerland, San Marino, Liechtenstein and Monaco.

The Island received “Compliant” ratings (the highest) in the most recent Global Forum assessments of exchange of information on request.

Jersey has continued to take an active role at the OECD, being a vice-chair of the Global Forum on Tax Transparency’s AEOI working group as one example.

 

tackling Financial Crime - AML, CFT, BOI, TCSP

Jersey is committed to meeting international standards set to tackle financial crime and to aid in the development of new legislation. The Island has comprehensive legislation in place to prevent acts of financial crime from money laundering to terrorist financing. The Island is internationally known to be cooperative in the exchange of Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) and in the regulation of Trust and Company Service Providers (TCSPs).

 

Meeting Historic Financial Crime Standards:

Jersey has been assessed and rated highly by MONEYVAL when measured against the historic 2003 international standards for anti-money laundering (AML) and combatting terrorist financing (CFT) set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

 

Meeting Existing Financial Crime Standards:

In 2016 Jersey was reviewed again by MONEYVAL to begin a series of assessments against the new 2012 FATF Standards, the island next expects an assessment in 2020. Since the beginning of the process and in the interim, a programme of legislation is being designed by the Island with the National Risk Assessment (NRA), and law enforcement action, to ensure the 2020 assessment yields the same positive outcomes as previous assessments.

 

Beneficial Ownership:

Jersey is internationally recognised for providing, accurate, adequate, and timely information on the beneficial ownership (BOI) of companies. This recognition is reinforced by the role the Island takes in the work of the European Business Registry.

In regard to the transparency and beneficial ownership of legal person and legal arrangements, Jersey has committed to compliance with the FATF Recommendations 24 and 25, which are also reflected in EU 4th and 5th AML Directives.

Following a commitment launched in 2016 by the G5 countries and alongside EU MS, Jersey has pledged to develop and implement a new international standard for the automatic exchange of BOI. At the request of the G20 this commitment is being taken forward by the FATF and OECD. Building upon this commitment, in 2018 the Island agreed to work with the EU to ensure that on a reciprocal basis, BOI and legal information in relation to bodies corporate is suitably shared with EU tax and law enforcement authorities.

 

Beneficial Ownership - Trusts & Companies:

Since 2000 Jersey has had regulated Trust and Company Service Providers (TCSPs). The TCSPs are required to hold and keep up to date BOI for all structures administered by them. This BOI is available to the Island’s financial regulator and law enforcement. It can also be provided to competent authorities in other jurisdictions by using gateways created within the legislation. In addition, this information can also be passed on through Jersey’s tax and mutual legal assistance (MLA) agreements.

A 2016 report conducted by MONEYVAL found that Jersey has been widely recognised by international organisations as being in a world leading position in regard to meeting international standards of beneficial ownership transparency. The report credited this recognition as the result of a combination of factors:

  • Jersey’s central register of ultimate beneficial ownership with a high level of vetting,
  • Jersey’s evaluation not found elsewhere; and
  • A standard of TCSP regulation found in few other jurisdictions

 

Financial Regulation - TCSPs, FSB Assessments & AIFMD

Jersey’s financial regulation system is robust and internationally respected. There is no banking secrecy in Jersey and the island is a world leader in the regulation of Trust and Company Service Providers (TCSPs).

The Island’s financial regulator has developed excellent regulatory cooperation with their EU counterparts, including with the European Supervisory Authorities.

In both the 2011 and the most recent 2014 Financial Stability Board (FSB) assessments of jurisdictions’ international cooperation and information exchange against the prevailing financial regulation standards, Jersey was found to be a jurisdiction “demonstrating sufficiently strong adherence to the relevant international standards” (group 1 status/ top tier).

Jersey was one of the first jurisdictions to accomplish a Memoranda of Understanding with most EU MS in regard to market access for national private placement regimes under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The memoranda were negotiated by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and in both July 2015 and July 2016 ESMA recommended to the Commission that passporting under AIFMD should be extended to Jersey.

 

eu finance criterion - ecofin

On 12 March 2019 the EU Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) formally confirmed Jersey to be a cooperative jurisdiction. It confirmed Jersey met the required criteria approved by ECOFIN in relation to; transparency and the exchange of information, fair tax competition, and the standards set by the G20/OECD regarding Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).

Jersey is fully compliant with the following criteria:

  • Criterion 1: relating to tax transparency;
  • Criterion 2.1: the absence of preferential tax regimes;
  • Criterion 2.2: adequate substance* requirements; and
  • Criterion 3: commitment to BEPS.

*the jurisdiction should not facilitate offshore structures aimed at attracting profits which do not reflect real economic activity in the jurisdiction.

NB: See later sections for further detail on Jersey’s legislation for BEPS and substance.

Jersey’s compliance to the approved criteria and subsequent confirmation as a cooperative jurisdiction, gives no reason for the Island to be included in any national black list held by EU MS, the Island is compliant in meeting international standards.

 

base erosion & profit shifting (beps)

BEPS refers to tax planning strategies that exploit holes and disparities in tax rules to artificially move profits to low or no-tax locations in which there is little or no economic activity. The BEPS initiative aims to create a globally fair and modern international tax system by ensuring profits are being taxed in the jurisdiction where the profit generating activity takes place. This corresponds to Jersey’s long-standing policy of requiring regulated financial services organisations to be of substance and have a physical presence on the island (a policy now extended to all businesses – see section on substance). The Government of Jersey is therefore fully supportive of the actions being carried out to achieve this, further evidenced by island’s active participation in BEPS working groups.

In 2016 Jersey become a BEPS Associate and Member of the OECD BEPS Inclusive Framework. As a BEPS Associate the Island contributes toward the development of the BEPS program through; the exchange of information and policy dialogue, by participating on an equal footing with the G20, the OECD and many other countries, including a significant number in the developing world.

The BEPS package has four minimum standards, which as a BEPS Associate the Island is committed to implementing. The four minimum standards includes the following two key aspects:

  • The exchange of tax rulings, under Action 5 (implemented in 2017); and
  • Country by country reporting (CBCR) under Action 13

Further to CBCR under Action 13 Jersey has also applied the OECD standard to extend the scope of AEOI to exchange CBCR between tax authorities (implemented in 2016 in EU through the Administrative Cooperation Directive (DAC 4)). In addition to this domestic legislation, in 2016 Jersey also signed the OECD multilateral CBCR instrument.

Jersey contributed toward the construction of an additional OECD Multilateral Instrument (MLI) which in 2017 Jersey was among the first jurisdictions to sign and put into practice. The treaty was created to implement BEPS treaty measures and to amend bilateral treaties. The Island became the third jurisdiction in the world to complete ratification when domestic legislation was implemented in 2017.

Jersey actively participates in international BEPS Working Groups:

  • The Island is vice chair of the ad hoc working group created by the OECD to monitor international implementation of CBCR, and is also a member of the Steering Group.
  • Jersey is also a member of the OECD ad hoc working group that has developed the BEPS multilateral treaty.
  • Most recently, in 2017, the Island was selected for the Ad Hoc Advisory Task Force, and is the only non-sovereign jurisdiction participating. The task force provides advice on the future work of the BEPS Working Party 1 (tax conventions) and the Working Party 6 (taxation of multinational enterprises).

 

economic substance

On 1 January 2019 Jersey implemented the new Economic Substance Regime which is enshrined in domestic law. Substance refers to businesses having a physical presence on the Island and is aimed to prevent offshore structures attracting profits which don’t reflect the actual economic activity in the jurisdiction.

As of 1 January 2019 (and all accounting periods thereafter) certain businesses tax resident in Jersey are required to comply with the regime.

Failure to comply with the regime will result in sanctions. Sanctions are sequential and consist of the spontaneous exchange of information and escalating financial penalties, and ultimately, the company being struck off.

 

Jersey's cooperation with the european parliAment (ep) - TAXE 1&2, PANA

Jersey actively engages with the EP on issues regarding tax.

  • In May 2015, Jersey’s Chief Minister met with the Chair of the EP’s special Committee on tax rulings (TAXE 1) and voluntarily presented a written submission to the Committee.
  • In March 2016 Island officials provided evidence at a hearing of the second special Committee (TAXE 2).
  • In May 2017 Island officials also presented evidence at a hearing of the EP Committee of Inquiry on the Panama Papers (PANA), which focused on tax and beneficial ownership.

 

Data Protection (GDPR)

The protection of personal data is vital for public bodies, including tax and regulatory authorities. Jersey is compliant to EU data protection standards and is one of a small collection of third country jurisdictions that have been formally assessed by the European Commission as meeting current EU data protection standards and granted equivalence (‘adequacy’) through individual Commission Decisions.

Jersey’s data protection legislation is based on EU law. Following the EU’s adoption of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Island has applied equivalent amendments to its domestic legislation called the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018. These changes were implemented at the same time as GDPR in the EU on 25 May 2018.

 

Jersey & International Development - Creditors, Tax & Assets in the Developing World

Jersey acknowledges the significance of tax issues for the international development agenda. Through collaborating with international partners (including Guernsey) the Island is actively investigating ways to help developing countries enhance their revenue raising capacity.

To prevent creditors (including “Vulture Funds”), from pursuing inequitable payments from deeply indebted-poor countries through the Jersey court system, the island has implemented legislation designed to stop these acts. What is considered to be an indebted-poor country is defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

Jersey actively participates in international efforts to help developing countries recover assets illicitly taken out of their countries. Together the Channel Islands have aided in numerous prosecutions across a number of diverse jurisdictions which have resulted in the substantial restraint, confiscation and repatriation of assets. Affected jurisdictions aided by the Island's include:

  • Brazil
  • Kenya
  • Indonesia
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • South Africa; and
  • United States

 

Future Legislation - cooperation with the eu

It is of the upmost importance to Jersey that the island maintains its position as a cooperative jurisdiction, meeting international standards, and that it remains a ‘good neighbour’ to the EU on tax matters.

Meeting international standards on Substance:

Recognising the importance of cooperation and productive dialogue, Jersey will continue working with the CoCG and the Commission on the effectiveness of legal substance requirements; including monitoring the effectiveness of their Economic Substance Regimes, with particular interest in enforcement efforts. Monitoring enforcement efforts will allow for the remedy of any shortcomings ensuring that the sanction regime remains dissuasive, rigorous, and effective. Jersey believes this monitoring should align to that which will be carried out on the implementation of agreed international standards, in particular the monitoring that the OECD has established in the Forum for Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP).

The CoCG’s proposed annual monitoring process for all screened jurisdictions will form part of Jersey’s broader engagement strategy as a cooperative jurisdiction. This will also promote a level playing field in regard to the application of the Code of Conduct principles to which Jersey has already voluntarily committed to for many years.

Jersey will continue to develop its engagement with the EU on a transparent, mutually beneficial and constructive basis over the coming years.

 

Meeting international standards on Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI):

To further enhance transparency, future dialogue between the Island and the EU will include engagement on the development of further transparency measures. These measures were outlined in the CoCG ‘Scoping Paper’ (June 2018).

In 2016 Jersey made a commitment to aid in the development of new international standards for the exchange of BOI, building on this, the island will work with the EU to ensure on a reciprocal basis, that BOI and legal information relating to bodies corporate, is able to be suitably shared with EU law and tax enforcement authorities.

 

Meeting international standards on Mandatory Disclosure:

Prior to 31 December 2019 Jersey will introduce legislation implementing mandatory disclosure rules of tax advice by intermediaries. This will align to the international standards being created by the OECD. (NB: This date is also the same deadline MS have to implement the 6th Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC 6) which also introduces mandatory disclosure rules within the EU.)

 

If you would like to know more about how Jersey is meeting international standards /or/ would like to enquire about moving to Jersey with your business or as a High Value Resident, get in touch with a member of our team today by calling +44(0)1534 440604 or email locatejersey@gov.je.

“I very much welcome the continued active engagement of…and Jersey in the key international initiatives for fighting tax evasion, fraud and abusive tax avoidance, in which they are important partners of the EU and [which] reinforce their standing as cooperative jurisdictions”

Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner for Economic & Financial Affairs, Tax & Customs


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