Senior officials from France’s Ministry of Finance have indicated that Jersey will be removed from the country’s ‘blacklist’ once the French are satisfied that Jersey’s tax information exchange is effective when responding to their requests.
At a meeting in Paris last Thursday [31 October] officials from Jersey were told that it is not France’s intention to keep the Island on the list of jurisdictions deemed uncooperative. Rather, the intention is to ensure that the existing Jersey/France tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) leads to a more effective exchange, now and in the future. Officials have given an undertaking that when French ministers are satisfied that outstanding requests for tax information are resolved, and that legislative changes have been made, Jersey will be removed from the 'blacklist'.
Sir Philip Bailhache, Minister for External Relations, said “The meeting was constructive, and I am confident that we will demonstrate to French Ministers that the Island has responded, and is responding, to the blacklisting by exchanging tax information more effectively.
“There have been certain requests for information made by the French under the terms of our TIEA that remain outstanding. This is principally because those cases have been appealed and will need to be resolved in the Jersey courts. We are taking steps to ensure there are no undue obstacles to meeting our international obligations in the field of tax information exchange in the future.”
French ministry is monitoring situation
The Ministry of Finance officials confirmed that they were monitoring the situation closely and recognised the advances made, both legislatively and in the effectiveness of the information exchange process, since August, when Jersey was added to the blacklist.
The future exchange of tax information will be helped by amendments to the law and the Chief Minister has therefore lodged amendments to regulations that implement TIEAs.
Jersey has signed 32 TIEAs covering mainly G20, OECD and EU Member States, of which 27 are in force. Of a total of 172 requests for information received from 16 countries, almost all have been responded to and many comments have been received complimenting Jersey on the quality of the responses.
Treasury Minister Senator Philip Ozouf said: “We are confident that the problems experienced with requests from France will be overcome so that France is able to express the same degree of satisfaction that has been obtained from other countries.