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Jersey gets top tax transparency rating

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JERSEY has been given the highest possible rating by a world trade body which assesses different jurisdictions’ compliance with international standards on tax transparency.

Chief Minister Ian Gorst

The result places the Island ahead of rival offshore centres such as Guernsey, Bermuda, Cayman and the British Virgin Islands.

It is welcome respite for the Island, the reputation of which has been rocked by the Paradise Papers data leak, which revealed that tech giant Apple moved two subsidiaries to Jersey as part of a tax planning scheme. The move was widely publicised in the international media.

Jersey’s finance sector is also due to find out on 5 December whether it has been added to a EU tax ‘blacklist’ following a screening exercise of around 92 jurisdictions.

A report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development rated Jersey as ‘compliant’ in ten areas relating to tax transparency and information exchange.

The result places Jersey in the top band of countries assessed, which also includes the Isle of Man, China, Colombia and France, among others.

Guernsey, the UK, Germany and the USA all received only a ‘largely compliant’ rating, which was the score Jersey had in 2014 – the last time it was reviewed.

A statement released by the States of Jersey said that the Island had focused on how it dealtwith requests for tax information from other jurisdictions since the last review.

Chief Minister Ian Gorst said that he welcomed the OECD’s findings, which were ‘recognition’ that Jersey was committed to the highest standards of tax transparency.

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‘At a time when transparency is more important than ever, Jersey continues to demonstrate its steadfast commitment to international co-operation,’ he said.

Treasury Minister Alan Maclean added: ‘This rating reflects the hard work done across all levels of government and regulators to ensure that Jersey has not just signed up to international standards, but has put them into practice in every area.’

Meanwhile, Geoff Cook, the chief executive of Jersey Finance, said that the report was an ‘unequivocal endorsement’ of the Island’s tax transparency framework.

‘Jersey now sits right at the very top globally in terms of standards of tax transparency, alongside a select group of less than ten other countries worldwide who have undergone this second round of reviews and ahead of most EU and G20 nations, including the UK, USA, Germany, Australia, Luxembourg and Canada,’ he said.

‘This is a real differentiator for Jersey and sends out a strong message that Jersey is serious about tax transparency, while also serving to reinforce just how unjustifiable the claims sometimes made against Jersey’s position on tax transparency really are.’

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