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Jersey will be removed from France's tax blacklist if it proves effective in responding to French requests for tax information, senior officials from France's Ministry of Finance said.
France added Jersey to its blacklist in August "to ensure that the existing Jersey/France tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) leads to a more effective exchange, now and in the future," the officials said during a meeting with their Jersey counterparts in Paris on October 31. In order to be removed from the blacklist Jersey must resolve outstanding requests for tax information to the satisfaction of French finance ministers and make changes to its legislation.
Philip Bailhache, Jersey's Minister for External Relations, said: "The meeting was constructive, and I am confident that we will demonstrate to French Ministers that the Island has responded, and is responding, to the blacklisting by exchanging tax information more effectively.
"There have been certain requests for information made by the French under the terms of our TIEA that remain outstanding. This is principally because those cases have been appealed and will need to be resolved in the Jersey courts. We are taking steps to ensure there are no undue obstacles to meeting our international obligations in the field of tax information exchange in the future."
French Ministry of Finance officials are monitoring the situation and are happy with the progress made thus far in updating legislation and improving the information exchange process.
Jersey is currently party to 32 tax information exchange agreements, mainly with G20, OECD and EU member states. Of those, 27 are in force. The offshore British territory has responded to "almost all" of 172 requests for tax information received from 16 countries.
Jersey's Treasury Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, said: "We are confident that the problems experienced with requests from France will be overcome so that France is able to express the same degree of satisfaction that has been obtained from other countries."
France updated its tax blacklist in August to include Jersey, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands, bringing the total number of territories included in the list to 10. Blacklisted territories are subjected to tougher tax policies by France.
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