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Jersey Tourist Tax Refund Scheme

by Jason Gorringe,, London

10 September 2012

Jersey is to pilot a Goods and Services Tax (GST) Visitor Refund Scheme for a period of twelve months to stimulate growth in the island's retail and tourism industry.

Refunds will be available for visitors to Jersey who buy items costing more than GBP300 (USD480) from a participating retailer. They will also need to meet certain conditions, like being non-Jersey resident, and there will be time limits for removal of goods from the island. During the trial, which is due to start this month, the scheme will only apply to visitors leaving on scheduled flights operated by commercial airlines.

Presently, a broad range of goods are subject to a 5% headline GST rate in Jersey, the rate having been increased from 3% in the Budget of 2011, presented on October 22, 2010.

To use the scheme, retailers will need advance approval from the Taxes Office and will need to contract with G4S, who will be verifying the goods and paperwork in the airside departure area. Participating retailers will be able to make refunds to visitors after receiving a certified claim form and they may choose to impose a handling charge.

The Taxes Office will also be providing support during the trial, managing post claim verification, business education and liaison with Customs and Immigration.

A memorandum between Jersey and the United Kingdom is also being finalized, which will allow for the exchange of real-time information on high-value tax-free goods carried by passengers between London Gatwick Airport and Jersey.

TAGS: tax | business | international financial centres (IFC) | goods and services tax (GST) | Jersey | United Kingdom | offshore | retail | services

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