Islands head for vital talks on UK's new line on tax

GUERNSEY officials will fly to the UK this week for crucial talks about HM Treasury’s plans to demand more tax information from the island.

Senator Ian Gorst, Jersey

GUERNSEY officials will fly to the UK this week for crucial talks about HM Treasury’s plans to demand more tax information from the island.

They will be joined by representatives from Jersey and the Isle of Man in the wake of reports that the UK government will block a key agreement with the US unless the islands act.

Treasury reportedly wants the Crown Dependencies to introduce a similar agreement that the islands are working on with the US.

It would mean that account details of UK citizens would be automatically shared with the UK tax authorities.

‘Good progress continues to be made with the negotiation of an intergovernmental agreement with the US for the application of Fatca [the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act],’ a Policy Council spokesman said.

Jersey’s chief minister, Senator Ian Gorst, pictured, said the island was always happy to sign up to international standards – but it did not like to do so unless there was a level playing field with its competitors.

Comments for: "Islands head for vital talks on UK's new line on tax"

guerniaise

Demands from nations with nuclear weapons!!

Get rid of such sick things then work with them.

Realist

We need to be careful here. Yes we want to be co-operative and open but at the same time we must not be dictated to by 'foreign' governments. We must have the backbone to protect the competitiveness of our finance industry while at the same time taking a pragmatic approach to disclosure.

While they are meeting HMRC perhaps our representatives could ask them how come it is acceptable for the them to purchase stolen data from so-called whistleblowers (for which read disgruntled employees and those seeking to make a quick buck).

Isn't there a law against paying for and receiving stolen goods in the UK? Surprised the financial institutions who have had their data stolen and sold to HMRC in this way have not issued legal proceedings for this criminal activity?

Dave Jones

Realist

I am with you on this.

Scarlett

When times were good, and the positives outweighed the negatives, quite logically, the UK Government were happy to let offshore business continue, and benefited from that themselves.

Now that times have changed and the UK's economic situation is going to hell in a handcart (along with much of the rest of the world), how much longer we can expect them to allow us to continue to prosper, as it is perceived in some quarters now, at their expense, is anyone's guess.

The Panorama programme and certain newspaper articles regarding our activities could not have come at a more pertinent, some might say, worse, time.

Phil

I just hope we don't try and form some sort of joint alliance with Jersey, the further we distance ourselves from this thoroughly rotten neighbour the better.

GM

Phil

Dead right there.

Three things worry me:

1. Are we paying for Jersey's refusal to join Guernsey and the IoM in signing up to EUSD automatic exchange of information?

2. If the Crown Dependencies are required to do anything which the British Overseas Territories aren't required to do, then are we not simply handing business on a plate to Cayman, BVI and Bermuda, who won't have the cost burden of "Son of FATCA" compliance?

3. Even if the British Overseas Territories are drawn in, then Singapore, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Switzerland and the Bahamas will be major beneficiaries, completely independent of UK and EU pressure. A level playing field is surely essential if any new legislation is to have any effect.

Dave Jones

That's the bit we need to make crystal clear. GM Phil.

We will not agree to anything unless the rest of the offshore centres do the same.

jamie

Don't forget to highlight the 'Exchange' part of information exchange.

I'm sure the UK wouldn't have any issue or cost in ensuring their institutions reciprocate information with the Guernsey tax authorities on Guernsey residents and beneficiaries etc. (should have told the EU to reciprocate too)

Dani

Agree with you there.

Scarlett

Phil. Sorry, but the whole idea of independence is just idealistic, saber rattling tosh, bandied about by politicians trying to win the popularity vote.

Without this rotten neighbour's approval, the same 'rotten neighbour' who's helped us build the lucrative offshore business we now have, btw, we wouldn't have much of an offshore industry to save, as they would simply legislate us out of business.

End of.

GM

Scarlett

I think Phil was suggesting we don't align more closely with Jersey, not to go independent!

Terry Langlois

I think that the rotten neighbour that Phil is referring to is Jersey, not the UK.

Phil

Scarlett

You appear to have misunderstood my point, GM and Terry haven't though.

PLP

Have to agree with you on this one Phil. The thought of a "CI Confederation" worries me considerably, and we all know who would want to be the senior partner.

Scarlett

Go independent, buddy up with Jersey, 'distance' ourselves, whatever the plan, the outcome's the same, the UK (when it suited them) made us, and now (as it doesn't suit them) they can break us.

It is shameful that the dear ol' CI's are being treated in this shabby manner, bearing in mind how much, historically, we have served the UK's purposes so well, but I'm sorry to say, as UK legislation continues to prove, they are the ones who will ultimately control whether we can continue or not.

Phil

Scarlett

It is entirely up to the UK to legislate how they want as regards their own citizens. That's what Guernsey does isn't it?

Scarlett

apologies, Phil, I didn't explain myself very well.

Yes, of course the UK can and do legislate in their own jurisdiction, but regardless of our affiliations, or lack of them, that then effects all the CI's, good, bad, legitimate and non legitimate business, in the same way.

Offshores are not viewed in same same positive light they once were by many of those in power, and the Crown Dependencies, all the Crown Dependencies, are, sadly, easy targets.

Don

Sad for a few - but good news for many millions - the days of "tax havens" is coming to an end!

Realist

Got to disagree with you there Don.

The world's governments may legislate against offshore jurisdictions like Guernsey, but if they succeed the money will just move to another (probably less well regulated) offshore centers somewhere else.

Most of the financial business conducted offshore involves international businesses and individuals - they are globally mobile and forcing them out of the Channel Islands is certainly not going to force them to establish themselves in hign tax jurisdictions like the UK.

Regardless of the tax arguments a lot of the money we see here ends up flowing back into the UK one way or another. If they pack up and go to Mauritus, or Cayman, or whereever, not only will there be zero increase in the UKs tax take, the flow-through of capital will cease too.

Scarlett

yep, and leave they will, for warmer climes, if the UK has it's way.

I think perhaps Don meant the gravy train is departing the CI's station - Don - ?

Anyway, I'm off to get some packs of tommy seeds and some seedling spuds this morning, and have gotten the digger coming in this afternoon to dig up the 5 acre landscaped garden here at Scarlett Towers so we can get planting....

I"m not hanging around waiting for it to happen...!

Don

I think that will happen Scarlett when things get hot - if anyone thinks that finance has any loyalties to where it exists when things get difficult they are in for a shock!And you are very wise not to sit around and wait - but don't damage the rhododendrums!

Scarlett

Mrs S insisted we leave the rhododendrums, Don, but the rest has had to go.

Perhaps when the banks all bugger off we can raise that bloney awful Admiral Park to the ground and put some nice allotments there...;))))))

Don,

Well you can count on me for a box of matches.And how about then putting up some houses for the rank and file?Ah well -one can dream!