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CROWN DEPENDENCIES: Jersey defends reputation as a ‘leading international financial centre’.


Added on 12/03/2019

On Thursday, The Times featured a front page article – with another four pages dedicated to the story inside – revealing that Simon Nixon, founder of moneysupermarket.com had legally avoided £168 million in UK tax when he moved to the Island and sold his stake in the company in 2013.

It also featured other Jersey residents including Michael Platt, a hedge-fund founder and Glenn Gordon – chairman of William Grant and Sons. The company produces well-known brands such as Hendrick’s Gin, Glenfiddich, Grant’s Whisky and The Balvenie.

And yesterday, The Times reported that businessman Paul Sykes, who has donated more than £2.8 million to UKIP since 2001, had moved to Jersey.

It was also reported that this may have taken place around 2014 – at the same time he wound up his investment business – potentially leaving him in line for a £312 million dividend payment. According to the newspaper, if he was living in Jersey, this could have legally saved him £95 million in tax.

Today, as details from the investigation continue to be published, Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham has moved to defend the Island’s reputation, saying that the government actively discourages setting up aggressive tax planning schemes in Jersey.

‘Jersey is widely recognised to be one of the world’s leading independent financial centres in terms of regulation and transparency, and our high standards have been acknowledged by international organisations such as the OECD and the IMF,’ he said.

‘This, combined with a culture of safety and privacy, high-quality health and leisure facilities, excellent cafés and restaurants, high-quality education system and easy access to the UK and Europe makes us a very desirable location for many. However, those wishing to relocate to Jersey need to meet strict criteria, whether as a high-value resident or an essential employee.

‘We continue to be very clear that Jersey has no need or wish to be associated with tax avoidance and aggressive tax-planning schemes and the government has taken active steps to discourage such use of Jersey.’

Senator Farnham also made reference to the UK’s ‘resident non-domicile’ system – where people live in the UK but are liable for tax in another country – which serves to attract high-net-worth individuals to the UK in exchange for preferential tax arrangements.

‘It is for the United Kingdom government to set its own policy, fiscal and legislative environment to ensure that they are able to levy the appropriate amount of tax on those residents who legitimately chose to become non-UK resident,’ he said.

‘The United Kingdom itself has a “Resident Non-Domicile” regime designed to attract international citizens to the UK.

‘This encourages them to take up residence and bring themselves and their buying power to the United Kingdom. Many countries offer such schemes to attract inward investment from wealthy individuals and their businesses.’