Jersey Supports 'Panama Papers' Response
by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
07 April, 2016
As one of the world's best regulated offshore international financial centers, Jersey would welcome moves from other territories to improve transparency surrounding beneficial ownership, Geoff Cook, the CEO of Jersey Finance, says.
His comments follow the leak of the "Panama Papers," which have spurred calls for greater transparency in offshore jurisdictions to counter money laundering and tax evasion.
Cook said: "The Panama Papers challenge the use of offshore companies to hide the identities of the ultimate company owners – the beneficial owners. Jersey's position on hiding the identities of beneficial owners is very clear: we do not allow it. Jersey has captured beneficial ownership information on a corporate registry since 1999. This enables Jersey to provide law enforcement and tax authorities with 'adequate, accurate and timely' data.."
"Where there is found to be illicit or fraudulent activity in any country anywhere in the world, it is absolutely right that it should be challenged and investigated," said Cook.
He added that "although Mossack Fonseca has a small office in Jersey, there is no suggestion that any illegal activity has taken place on the island or involved Jersey-registered companies."
"The strength of Jersey's financial regulations and security checks mean that anyone wishing to launder money or evade tax would find it extremely difficult to do so. Jersey is tax neutral. Individuals must pay tax in the jurisdictions in which they are expected to, and tax authorities in Jersey and around the world exchange information to ensure that companies and individuals with interests here do so."
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