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Jersey Backs UK's Anti-Avoidance Strategy

by Jason Gorringe,, London

10 December 2012

The Jersey government has voiced support for proposals from the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in his Autumn Statement which will provide much-needed clarification of what constitutes illegitimate tax planning.

Part of Osborne's December mini-budget focused on improving the "fairness" of the UK tax regime, with proposals announced to create a dedicated HM Revenue and Customs unit to tackle offshore tax evasion and confirmation that the UK will indeed introduce a General Anti-Avoidance Rule.

Heather Bestwick, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Jersey Finance - the promotional agency for the island's financial services industry, responded to the proposals stating:

"As is the norm these days, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement contained few elements that had not already been widely trailed by HM Treasury. While we heard some strong language on tax matters, behind the political rhetoric much of the actual content of the statement was very much aligned with Jersey’s position and the position of our finance industry."

"As we continue to emphasize, Jersey is interested in high quality, high value and entirely legal business. We are therefore pleased to hear about plans to tackle promoters of aggressive schemes that seek to exploit UK tax law and support the introduction of a General Anti Abuse Rule (GAAR) as a measure that will hopefully add clarity to the UK’s highly complex tax code."

"In terms of the stated aim to create a UK centre of excellence for tackling offshore evasion, this is an ideal opportunity for Jersey to work closely with the UK to demonstrate our stringent defences and zero tolerance approach to tax evasion, something that is a criminal offence in Jersey.”

TAGS: tax | business | tax avoidance | law | Jersey | United Kingdom | offshore | tax planning | services

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