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Chief Minister writes to Presidency of EU Council

21 May 2013

Jersey's Chief Minister has written to the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, welcoming the conclusions of the ECOFIN meeting earlier this month: -
I write to welcome the conclusions of the Council in recognising the need for further efforts at national, EU and global levels to combat tax fraud and tax evasion and also aggressive tax planning.  I also welcome support for further efforts at national, EU, G8, G20, OECD and global levels on automatic exchange of information (AEOI) and on improving the implementation and enforcement of standards of beneficial ownership information relevant for tax purposes.
In addition, I have taken note of the joint statement by 17 EU Member States supporting the development of a single global standard for AEOI based on FATCA agreements with the US, and requesting that the European Commission supports and promotes the work of the OECD, G8 and G20 in developing that standard. 
We have always attached great importance to the principle of a global level playing field and therefore welcome the action being taken to secure this through the development of a new international standard for AEOI that will have global application.
Jersey has been independently recognised for compliance with international standards as they apply to financial regulation, anti-money laundering, and transparency and information exchange for tax purposes. 
We are an active participant in the work of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.  As a Vice Chair of the Global Forum Peer Review Group, Jersey is involved closely in the work to ensure global compliance with the existing international standard of information exchange on request. 
I have written to the Secretary General of the OECD expressing our equal commitment to work with the OECD on the development of any new standard on AEOI.
We welcome efforts to improve the implementation and enforcement of standards of beneficial ownership information relevant for tax purposes.  The World Bank has recognised Jersey as a leader in this field as a result of the requirements that must be met when incorporating a Jersey company, alongside the requirements placed upon all trust and company service providers who are subject to regulation and on-site supervision. 
These requirements ensure that adequate, accurate and current information on beneficial ownership is available, accessible and able to be exchanged with tax authorities.  We believe that this is a standard that most, if not all EU, G8, G20 and OECD countries, have yet to match fully.
Jersey regards the OECD as the international standard setter for tax transparency and information exchange.  However, we also recognise that the EU has a key role to play in supporting and promoting the acceptance of standards globally, as noted by the Council.  We have therefore concluded that we should, in accordance with our longstanding good neighbour policy, also seek to join in the work of the EU. 
Accordingly I have decided to recommend that Jersey should seek to join with the EU Member States, directly and pro-actively, on the pilot multilateral exchange initiative using the model agreed with the US as a basis for this exchange.  This model is the intergovernmental agreement that Jersey is shortly to sign with the US and the UK and we support the drive to deliver a global solution based upon this model.
We look forward to working with the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission to take forward this pilot initiative.
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