Jersey set for tax amnesty and vow to get tough on ‘dodgers’

Jersey is to introduce a tax amnesty period next year before unveiling a series of get tough measures against tax avoiders on the Island.

The Treasury and Resources Minister, Senator Alan Maclean, said in statement announcing Jersey’s 2017 budget on Tuesday, that it would be introducing a “Voluntary Tax Disclosure Opportunity” in 2017, so that any Jersey taxpayers can bring their tax affairs up-to-date before “penalties are strengthened”.

The move is in line with similar policies at other jurisdictions that are bringing in tax amnesty periods in a bid to recover lost revenues before the Common Reporting Standards initiaitve is introduced next year. As reported, tax amnesties have been introduced in Indonesia and also in Argentina, in recent months.

As reported last week, Indonesia recently announced that it had received more than US$263bn in declared revenues as 347,000 signed up to its scheme with the promise of substantial discounts for early disclosure, following its tax amnesty introduction.

‘Financial crime’

In a statement on its website announcing the release of the 2017 Budget, the Jersey government said that “tackling financial crime” was a priority and that its Taxes Office and States Police would be given greater powers across the next few budgets.

In the Jersey Treasury statement, Maclean said: “We are introducing powers to enable the Taxes Office and States Police to collaborate in tackling financial crime. Over the next few Budgets we will introduce new legislation to modernise our tax system and add to the powers of the Taxes Office.

Maclean added that penalties for tax dodgers that are living in Jersey or paying tax on the island are to be “strengthened” as part of the new get tough policy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Deputy Editor, International Investment and Head of Video at Open Door Media Publishing. A fully qualified journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as an IFA.

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