Determining residency for tax purposes
Your residency status for the purposes of income tax depends on the following facts:
- the length of your visit
- the frequency of your visits
- availability of accommodation in Jersey
Residence for tax purposes can be complicated, so if you're unsure we recommend that you contact us with the facts of your case for a ruling, or obtain professional advice.
Resident and ordinarily resident
You will be taxed on your worldwide income.
This is the majority of the people whose home is in Jersey and who spend all their time here except for visits abroad on business or holiday.
Resident but not ordinarily resident
You will be taxed on any Jersey source income and any remittances of income to the island.
This can be people who come to Jersey on a short contract of less than 2 years, whose centre of life is abroad.
You will be taxed on Jersey source income only, unless specifically exempted under the law or by tax treaty.
This includes people who have Jersey property income but don't live in Jersey.
Non-residency for tax purposes
Meaning of 'residence', 'ordinarily resident' and 'available accommodation'
These terms are not specifically defined in the Income Tax (Jersey) Law. We follow the definitions which have been set by UK case law, where those cases are relevant to our tax residency rules.
You will be regarded as 'resident' if you meet any of these criteria:
- have been in Jersey for 6 months (183 days) or longer in any one calendar year
- have or retain a place of abode and stay in the 'available accommodation' for however short a time
- intend to make substantial and habitual visits (this is 3 months on average over a 4 year period and there has been a visit in each of the four years). You would then be treated as resident from the fifth year
- the intention to make your home here is shown earlier. You would then be treated as 'ordinarily resident' from your date of arrival
You will be regarded as 'ordinarily resident' if you:
- if you spend a substantial amount of time year on year in the Island (habitually resident)
- have 'available accommodation' and spend the majority of a calendar year in the Island
If you have accommodation available to you, then you are resident if you spend any amount of time in that accommodation. For accommodation to be available you have to be able to use it as and when you wish.
It is not necessary for a property to be owned or rented by yourself, for example a property owned or rented by your partner or spouse would normally be treated as available for your use.
Accommodation provided by your employer will be regarded as available if your contract is for 2 years or more.
Meaning of 'remittances'
Remittances is defined as any income you receive or send to Jersey including:
- sending cash or cheques
- crediting Jersey bank accounts
- converting income abroad into investments and then sending those investments to Jersey to convert them to cash
- paying bills or debts due in Jersey by any payment method including debit and credit cards issued in other countries
If you are resident, in the year you arrive you will be taxed on your:
- Jersey income for the full year
- non-Jersey income from the date of arrival
This is set out in concession R3 in concessions and practice.
Concession and practice: Residency
If your home is abroad and you visit Jersey the general principles for tax are:
- if your visits are for a temporary purpose only and not with a view to establishing residence here, you will not be treated as resident unless your visits total 6 months or more in a calendar year
- if your visits to Jersey total 6 months or more in a calendar year you will be treated as resident but not ordinarily resident
- if you have available accommodation in Jersey you will be treated as resident for any year in which you visit Jersey, for whatever length of time
- if you have available accommodation and you spend most of the calendar year in Jersey you will be treated as resident and ordinarily resident
- if you have available accommodation in Jersey and your visits are 'habitual' you will be treated as resident and ordinarily resident after 4 years unless the intention to make your home here is shown earlier
Concession R1 can apply if you have a home in Jersey but your professional or business activities keep you continuously outside Jersey except on holidays. Your visits must not exceed an annual average of 90 days for this concession to apply.
Concession and practice: Residency
Leaving Jersey permanently
In the year you leave Jersey, you will be taxable on Jersey income for the whole year (unless that income is exempted under an international tax agreement) and any non-Jersey income up to the departure date if you are ordinarily resident.
If you are resident but not ordinarily resident you will be taxable on your Jersey income for the whole year and remittances to the date of departure.
If you arrive or leave during the year, you may have your allowances and exemption threshold apportioned by the number of complete weeks you were resident in Jersey (article 129A of the Income tax (Jersey) Law).
Income tax legislation
Taking up temporary employment abroad
Special rules apply if you go abroad on a contract of employment. We will always need details of your actual visits to Jersey during the absence abroad including where you stayed.
Double taxation and tax information exchange agreements
Jersey has agreements with a number of countries that can help you if you have paid tax twice.
Double taxation agreements
If your non-Jersey income has already been taxed, you will need to provide evidence of this when you complete your Jersey tax return. The foreign tax paid can then be taken into account when your Jersey tax bill is calculated.
There are some agreements which will allow you to claim exemption from tax in the country the income arises.
They may also have a provision that addresses the tax position if you are resident in both Jersey and another country.
Tax and your pension income: living abroad
There are also special rules for certain types of income, such as interest and dividends.