Jersey minister rejects ‘erroneous claims’ made by tax pressure group

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THE Treasury Minister has rejected a series of what he has called ‘erroneous claims’ made about Jersey by a pressure group campaigning against tax avoidance.

Deputy Ian Gorst defended the Island’s reputation following the allegations made by the Tax Justice Network in an open letter to King Charles III ahead of the Coronation this weekend.

The campaigners are calling on the King to use his influence to revamp laws allowing tax avoidance in the UK, the Crown Dependencies and the British overseas territories.

An estimated £152 billion in tax was being avoided globally each year, the Tax Justice Network claimed, of which Jersey and Guernsey were responsible for more than £6.9bn.

Deputy Gorst said: ‘Jersey meets all international tax standards and has a long-standing track record of active co-operation with the international standard-setting bodies and with the European Union.

‘It is regrettable that the Tax Justice Network did not check with the government before making these erroneous claims.’

The letter, from economist Alex Cobham, who is chief executive of the network, stated that ‘Jersey has even introduced a new form of anonymous ownership vehicle this year’, but this particular claim was also rebuffed by the Treasury Minister.

Deputy Gorst said: ‘It is factually wrong to claim, as the Tax Justice Network’s letter does, that Jersey Limited Liability Companies allow for anonymity.

‘The LLC regime, which came into force in 2022, does not allow anonymous ownership – all members must be declared by initial registration with the Jersey Financial Services Commission, and all subsequent changes must be updated within 21 days.’

A spokesperson for the UK Treasury said the government ‘did not recognise’ the £152bn tax loss each year attributed by the network.

The UK spokesperson added: ‘The UK has led international tax reform, which includes improving tax transparency so countries can find hidden incomes and assets, and by implementing the global minimum corporate tax, ensure large multinational groups pay the right tax in the right place.’

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