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  • Guernsey Income Tax Office obtains Internal Revenue Service approval on data safeguarding and infrastructure

    Friday 19 December 2014

    Guernsey signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement ("TIEA") with the United States in 2002. Since it was amended, in 2013, the TIEA permits the exchange of tax information, both on request and automatically.

    Automatic exchange will be on the basis of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("FATCA"), as agreed in an Inter-Governmental Agreement ("IGA") between Guernsey and the United States, which was signed in December 2013.

    It is a fundamental part of both the TIEA and the IGA that information exchanged should be kept confidential and only disclosed as specifically permitted in the agreements.  It is also important for both partners to an agreement to be content that each of them has in place the necessary procedures and systems to exchange information effectively, and on a timely basis, including processes to help resolve any issues that may arise.

    The Internal Revenue Service ("the IRS" - the tax authority in the United States) recently undertook a thorough data safeguards and infrastructure review of the Guernsey Income Tax Office.  The IRS has advised the Director of Income Tax that it is satisfied that the procedures and systems in place are sufficient to ensure that information exchanged would be kept safe and confidential and that there can be an effective exchange relationship.  The IRS also provided the Guernsey Income Tax Office with detailed information on its own practices and procedures to demonstrate that the US complies with the same stringent requirements that it expects of its exchange of information partners.

    Rob Gray, the Director of Income Tax, said:

    "The Compliance and Investigation Unit ("CIU"), in the Income Tax Office, is given the task of administering exchange of tax information under our agreements with other jurisdictions, and that will include automatic exchange under FATCA with the US.

    It is vital that all jurisdictions which exchange, often sensitive, financial information, under TIEAs, or other formal agreements, for tax purposes, can be certain that the recipient territory will keep it confidential and safe and use it only for the purposes for which it was exchanged.  I know that my colleagues in CIU take this very seriously.

    In addition, in order satisfy international standards, jurisdictions have to have both experienced staff and an adequate infrastructure of processes and systems in place to ensure that the exchange of information is effective in practice.

    It is very pleasing, therefore, that, having carried out an in-depth, testing  and thorough review of all of our procedures and systems, the IRS has given Guernsey the "stamp of approval" by formally notifying us of the adequacy of our data safeguards, and confirming that our infrastructure should ensure that we have an effective exchange relationship with the US."

    Deputy Jan Kuttelwascher, Deputy Minister of Treasury and Resources Department, said:

    "In the current international climate, it is vital that the world's financial centres can demonstrate that they can comply with the expectations of their international peers.  For Guernsey to receive confirmation from the US, at such an early stage in the FATCA process, that it is satisfied that our tax authority already meets its stringent expectations on data safeguarding, and standards it expects from its exchange of information partners, is very satisfying and a testament to the professional approach of the staff in the Income Tax Office".

    ENDS

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  • Commerce & Employment to present 2015 Business Plan

    Thursday 18 December 2014

    The Commerce and Employment Department has announced that it will present a review of its achievements against its published Business Plan and implementation of its Economic Development Framework in 2014. Importantly, the Department will then go on to set its targets for 2015 and key work that needs to be achieved as it goes on to further implement key work streams.

    The presentation will take place on Wednesday 21st January.  A morning presentation at 9am to be held at St Pierre Park Hotel is being staged for the business community and there is an open invitation to an evening presentation at 7pm for the general public to attend and learn more.  Deputy Kevin Stewart, Minister for Commerce and Employment said:

    "It's important that the Department benchmarks its progress to date and demonstrates that we are listening and working with the business community as we go forward.  The 2015 Business Plan will be launched and the aim is to demonstrate the progress that has been made, challenges that the Department has been working through and importantly next steps. We would actively like to encourage people to attend to learn more and get involved".

    The Commerce and Employment Minister will give an introduction and then Jason Moriarty, Chief Officer, will deliver a presentation on behalf of the Commerce and Employment Board and staff team.  Board Members and the Senior Management Team, will be available for a question and answer session following the presentation.

    Jason Moriarty, Chief Officer, Commerce and Employment said:

    " As our employment sectors evolve and we commit to creating new economic opportunities, it is important to create a good level of understanding and to justify and explain decisions that have been taken at various junctures - as well as next steps. It is important to work with industry to recognise success and build confidence as well as acknowledge challenges - and address how these are being tackled.

    We will cover key projects from financial services development to tourism to renewables, planning, air and sea transportation, sea fisheries, the Dairy review, Sunday Trading, wider retail, right through to the range of business as usual client services that the Department provides every day."

     To register for the business and public events go to www.gov.gg home page and click through on the link - C&E Business Plan 2015 

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  • Actuarial Valuation of the States of Guernsey Superannuation Fund

    Thursday 18 December 2014

    The Treasury and Resources Department is releasing the 2013 Actuarial Valuation of the States of Guernsey Superannuation Fund, prepared by BWCI Limited.

    In respect of the main section of the Fund (the Combined Pool which had assets of £970million), the deficit at 31 December 2013 was £82.1million (92.2% funded) compared with a deficit of £77.3million (91.6% funded) at the time of the previous valuation (31 December 2010).  These figures relate to benefits already accrued by members and are unaffected by the current proposals for pension reforms.

    A States Report will be submitted in early 2015 to place this Actuarial Valuation before the States and will include recommendations for any revisions to the employer contribution rates.

    ENDS

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