Friday 15 March 2013
Guernsey's Chief Minister has today announced Guernsey's intention to finalise a draft agreement on a proposed 'tax package' with the UK that will reinforce Guernsey's commitment to tax transparency and its status as a leading and respected mainstream international finance centre
The proposed 'package' comprises:
- agreement in principle to enhanced reporting of tax information along FATCA principles through an Intergovernmental Agreement ('IGA'), with alternative reporting arrangements for non-domiciled UK tax residents (non-doms);
- agreement to negotiate a revised Double Taxation Agreement; and
- agreement on a disclosure facility.
The announcement comes as Guernsey also moves towards concluding an IGA with the US on FATCA.
Both IGAs will be subject to the proper decision making process of the States and thus will be presented to the States for approval later this year.
The proposed package of measures would further reinforce Guernsey's position as a tax transparent, co-operative jurisdiction and best positions Guernsey's finance sector for long term growth opportunities.
Chief Minister Deputy Peter Harwood commented:
"Guernsey is fully committed to combating tax evasion and the principle of automatic exchange and our twin IGA approach to US / UK reporting will provide our industry with a very strong platform to compete on the world stage against weaker, less transparent and compliant jurisdictions. The agreement that we are working towards with the UK will be consistent with our belief that Guernsey's long-term sustainable economic future is best served by safeguarding our position and reputation as a respected, well regulated, tax transparent jurisdiction. With such a UK agreement, automatic exchange under the EU Savings Directive and importantly an IGA arrangement with the US for FATCA now almost concluded, we believe Guernsey business will have both certainty and a competitive advantage."
Guernsey's Treasury & Resources Minister, Deputy Gavin St Pier added:
"Securing a proportionate and workable non-dom reporting regime is clearly pivotal. The arrangements we have negotiated are non-intrusive and respect non-doms' different status under UK tax laws. We are confident that they will secure Guernsey's attractiveness for non-dom business, not least as they were devised in close consultation with industry groups and practitioners.
"We will also agree to a disclosure facility as part of a wider agreement between our two jurisdictions. Given our long-standing commitment to transparency, including our extensive network of tax information exchange agreements and the fact that we already exchange information automatically under the EU Savings Directive, we don't expect the facility to be used much, if at all."
Guernsey's Commerce & Employment Minister, Deputy Kevin Stewart said:
"Our industry asked for long-term certainty, and this proposed agreement and package of measures will give them that. That certainty will give them greater confidence and a competitive edge, as Guernsey will now be even better placed to capture future growth opportunities in finance as a mainstream tax neutral and transparent jurisdiction. The international finance sector has changed and Guernsey has not just changed with it, but has continued to influence that change. Our leadership on the international tax transparency agenda marks us as a mainstream and co-operative place to do business, and sets us apart from weaker, less transparent and co-operative jurisdictions. That will help our firms attract more business."
The final terms and details of the enhanced reporting agreement and the alternative non-dom reporting arrangements will be published in due course and will be subject to consultation with industry on implementation issues. It is presently intended to publish both the US IGA and the UK IGA concurrently to provide for a streamlined consultation and implementation process.