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UK Welcomes Dependencies' Tax Transparency Reforms

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
11 March, 2014

The UK Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, has described Jersey and the other Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories as being at "the forefront" globally on the agenda for tax transparency.

His remarks came in a panel session at the European Competition Forum 2014, held on February 11, 2014, which looked at Taxation and Competition Policy in Europe.

In response to a comment by fellow panelist Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts, Gauke described the lengths Jersey and the other Crown Dependencies have gone to demonstrate their commitment to the adoption of international standards of transparency, and tackling fraudulent flows of money.

"All of the UK's Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories with financial centers have taken significant steps forward on tax transparency putting them at the forefront of this agenda globally."

"In addition to signing agreements with the UK for the automatic exchange of tax information, they have also agreed to be early adopters of the new global standard for automatic exchange. We will continue to work closely with the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories and will continue to press other financial centers to match the steps they have taken."

Responding to the comments, Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, said: "These comments are further examples of the recognition Jersey and the other Crown Dependencies (Guernsey and the Isle of Man) are now receiving at the very highest level for their commitment to tax transparency. It is extremely encouraging that in such important circles there is a genuine understanding of the great strides Jersey has made in working with other countries and organizations like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and in demonstrating that in areas such as beneficial ownership, regulatory oversight, information exchange and cross-border cooperation, Jersey is committed to the application of international standards on a level-playing field basis. It is important that we continue to drive these messages home."

Earlier, at a major Europe-wide conference held in Brussels, the Secretary General of the OECD, Angel Gurria, praised Jersey's efforts in tackling tax evasion.

With specific reference to the G8 Summit in Lough Erne in June 2013, Mr Gurria said that he was "very happy" with the way Jersey and the other Crown Dependencies had responded to the global drive towards greater international cooperation and transparency, commenting that he had received "a number of commitments directly from the Crown Dependencies." He went on to allude to problems in this area that are now being focused on, in what he referred to as "the big islands," the UK and the US.

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