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Guernsey Welcomes EU Tax Transparency Recognition

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
10 August, 2015

The EU Commission has confirmed its continued endorsement of Guernsey as a cooperative jurisdiction following a meeting between officials in Brussels, says Guernsey Finance.

Guernsey has a strong record in meeting international standards as a cooperative and highly transparent jurisdiction, including as an "early adopter" of the Common Reporting Standards ahead of some European countries.

Guernsey's Chief Minister, Jonathan Le Tocq, has written to European Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, stating: "Guernsey welcomes the Commission's confirmation at the meeting that it considers Guernsey to be a cooperative jurisdiction. This recognizes not only Guernsey's adherence to the OECD and Global Forum international standards on transparency and information exchange, but also that our corporate tax regime has been assessed as compliant with the EU's Code of Conduct on Corporate Taxation, and hence not containing harmful measures."

Guernsey Finance, the island's promotional agency for the island's financial services industry, said: "The endorsement from the EU comes soon after the Commission included Guernsey on a list that some commentators had misperceived as a 'black list' of un-cooperative jurisdictions. The list, published on June 17, was widely criticised, including by the OECD, for a lack of transparent and consistent methodology and has subsequently had its name changed for clarity."

Dominic Wheatley, the Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, said: "We welcome the EU's endorsement of Guernsey as a cooperative jurisdiction which is fully consistent with the findings of its Code of Conduct Group on Corporate Taxation in 2012. This clarification should give full confidence to all those looking to do business in Guernsey and enjoy the high quality of the financial business environment here."

"While the confirmation of the Commission's view is positive for Guernsey, the contribution that Guernsey makes to the European economy should not be overlooked. Research published by KPMG earlier this year showed that Guernsey funds have a total population of GBP155.4bn assets under administration and that almost half of that is invested into continental (non-UK) Europe, demonstrating Guernsey is also an important business partner for the EU."

"It has also been welcome to have confirmation from organizations such as the European Investment Fund that not only do they also recognize that Guernsey was not in any way 'black listed,' but also that they are aware of the positive recognition of Guernsey's track record by the OECD."

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