The Income Tax Law does not specifically provide for charitable Foundations to be granted exemption from income tax. However, by concession, exemption will be granted under Article 115(a) provided the foundation:
- is set up solely for charitable purposes as defined in Art 115(a)(i)
- submits a copy of its charter
- submits a copy of its regulations
- submits a copy of its accounts on an annual basis
The tax rules governing charities changed from 1 January 2019 when the final elements of the Charities (Jersey) Law 2014 came into force. This included the tax treatment of charitable foundations.
Aside from any tax relief available under a double taxation agreement, Jersey has no provision for granting unilateral relief in respect of foreign taxes.
Concessionary unilateral relief will be granted to Jersey residents at the discretion of the comptroller. The principles guiding the grant of unilateral relief are that:
- the income in question is substantial, it would not otherwise come to the Island and it will be used to generate taxable profits in the future, or
- it helps overcome a bar to the restructuring / expansion of a commercial enterprise, aimed at making more efficient use of resources, to the benefit of the Island’s economy
For the year of assessment 2016 and onwards, taxpayers and their agents must satisfy themselves that any relief claimed under this concession is calculated in accordance with the principles of Articles 111 and 112 of the Income Tax (Jersey) Law 1961.
Jersey trustees of a trust for the benefit of non-Jersey residents
By virtue of being resident in Jersey, trustees are, in strictness, chargeable to tax in respect of all the income arising to them in that capacity.
However, by concession the taxation of the trustees should reflect the tax position of those beneficiaries of the trust and, where the beneficiaries include legal bodies, the ultimate individual beneficial owners of those legal bodies. Therefore, the tax treatment of the income arising to the trustees will reflect the tax treatment which would have applied to the beneficiaries (or the ultimate individual beneficial owners of any legal bodies which are beneficiaries) if the income had arisen to them directly.
Where either all of the life tenants of a trust or all of the beneficiaries of a discretionary trust:
- are non-Jersey resident individuals
- are legal bodies ultimately wholly owned by non-resident individuals
- are Jersey charities exempt from income tax under Article 115
by concession the trustees will not be taxed on any non-Jersey source income and the statutory exemptions outlined in Art 118B of the Income Tax (Jersey) Law 1961 will be treated as being available to the trustees.
In this context "life tenants" means beneficiaries of a trust having a right to trust income as it arises.
The statutory exemptions in Article 118B include an exemption from Jersey income tax for:
- Jersey bank interest
- any distribution received from a Jersey resident company which is made out of profit/gains taxed at the rate of 0% in the company and
- interest paid by a Jersey resident company
Where a Jersey resident individual is entitled to income from any part of the trust as it arises, is a beneficiary of a discretionary trust, or the ultimate beneficial owner of an interest in a legal body which is a beneficiary, the concessional exemption granted above will be restricted.
The restriction will operate so as to charge tax on the total income of the trust less any non Jersey source income or any income falling within the statutory exemptions in Article 118B paid to, or expressly designated or accumulated for the exclusive benefit of, a non resident individual beneficiary or a beneficiary which is a legal body wholly owned by non resident individuals.
In cases in which a Jersey resident individual is a life tenant, a beneficiary of a discretionary trust or the ultimate beneficial owner of an interest in a legal body which is a beneficiary, the trustees should approach the Comptroller to agree the basis of taxation under this concession.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Comptroller does not need to be approached or notified where none of the beneficiaries/ultimate individual beneficial owners of legal bodies which are beneficiaries are Jersey resident.
In the situation where the trustees of a trust are unable to fully identify the residence of all of the beneficiaries/ultimate individual beneficial owners of legal bodies which are beneficiaries of the trust but are satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that:
- There are more than ten individuals that are beneficiaries/ultimate beneficiaries of the trust; and
- In accordance with the terms of the trust more than 90% of the trust income will be ultimately distributable to the beneficiaries, who they have verified as non-resident
then the trustees will be taxed under this concession as if all of the beneficiaries / ultimate individual beneficial owners of legal bodies which are beneficiaries are non resident.
Where the trustees are not certain beyond reasonable doubt in respect of the criteria set out at 1 and 2 above but still believe that full or partial exemption should apply to the income of the trust in accordance with this concession, the trustees should approach the Comptroller on a case by case basis setting out the full facts for determination.
Where the settlor of a trust is an individual resident in Jersey at the time the trust is created, or when further property is added to the trust, or when any settlor becomes resident in Jersey, the concession will be available, provided that:
- written application is made accompanied by a copy of the Trust Deed and by an explanation of the purpose of the trust
- the trust is irrevocable
- the settlor and their spouse / civil partner are irrevocably excluded from benefitting from the trust
- the reduction or avoidance of a Jersey tax liability was not the main purpose, or one of the main purposes, of the creation of the trust
In this context "settlor" means the person who has, or will have, provided any part of the trust property.
Where the settlor is a legal body and any Jersey resident has any interest in that legal body, the trustees should approach the Comptroller on a case-by-case basis setting out the full facts for determination.
There are two further points.
- Income tax returns are not normally issued where there are no Jersey resident beneficiaries/ultimate beneficial owners, however the trustees remain under a legal obligation (under Art 16) to report any income which remains taxable (e.g. Jersey trading income, Jersey rental income, etc.) by the normal due dates.
- The generality of the foregoing applies equally to the trustees of unit trusts. In addition, full exemption will not be lost by the existence of Jersey resident beneficiaries/ultimate beneficial owners provided that:
- the trustees undertake to deduct and account for Jersey income tax in respect of any distributions made directly to any Jersey resident individuals
- potential Jersey resident investors are made aware, by means of a warning in the Prospectus, that Article 134A (the general anti-avoidance provision) may be invoked in the case of an investment in an accumulation fund
- the trustees agree to provide details to the Comptroller of any legal body that owns units in the trust where the trustees are aware that a Jersey resident individual is the ultimate beneficial owner of an interest in that legal body
This concession has been updated and the revised version can be found under M1 by following the link below.
Concession and practice: Miscellaneous 1 to 8
Commutation of overseas pensions
Where an individual who is resident in Jersey receives a lump sum payment (by way of commutation) of his pension from an overseas scheme that payment will not be subject to Jersey income tax.
Due to changes in pension rules in a number of other jurisdictions this concession no longer applies from 27 March 2015.
Jersey trustees of settlements with non-resident beneficiaries
By virtue of being resident here, these trustees are, in strictness, chargeable to tax in respect of all income arising to them in that capacity.
However, by concession, they are, in certain circumstances, granted exemption from that liability. Broadly speaking the aim of this exemption is to free from tax income arising for the benefit of non-residents which is foreign income or Jersey bank interest.
Full exemption from tax on foreign income is given in the following circumstances:
- where the life tenants of a settlement are all non-resident
- where the named beneficiaries of a discretionary settlement are all non-resident
Partial exemption from tax on foreign income is given in the following circumstances:
- where one or more of the life tenants of a settlement are resident in Jersey
- where one ore more of the named beneficiaries of a discretionary settlement are resident in Jersey and separate funds are set up within the settlement from which the Jersey residents are wholly and irrevocably excluded
In these two circumstances the charge to tax is based on the total income less the foreign income belonging to, or accumulated for, the non-residents.
It should be noted that the inclusion of a Jersey resident as a potential beneficiary even simply as an ultimate long stop in the event of all other failing (sometimes known as a default beneficiary) will destroy the full and partial exemption given in respect of discretionary settlements unless the Jersey resident beneficiary is a charity exempt from tax by virtue of Article 115(a).
The comptroller needs to be notified of cases where only partial exemption is due. The required information is as follows:
- the name of the settlement and the names of the trustees
- the date it was created
- the names and addresses of the Jersey resident beneficiaries and the extent of their interest
Otherwise, exemption is granted without the need for formal application unless the settlor is resident in Jersey. In that event exemption will be given provided that:
- written application is made accompanies by a copy of the trust deed and by an explanation of the purpose of the settlement
- the settlement is irrevocable
- the settlor and spouse are irrevocably excluded from benefiting
- the reduction or avoidance of a Jersey tax liability was not the main purpose, or one of the main purposes, of the creation of the settlement
In this context 'settlor' means the person who has, or will have, provided the trust property.
There are three final points:
- Reporting. Income tax return forms are not normally issued where full exemption applies but the trustees are under a legal obligation (by virtue of article 16) to report the existence of Jersey income, other than bank interest.
- Interest payments. Where full exemption applies, interest paid by trustees is deemed to be outside the charging provisions or article 87.
- Unit trusts. The generality of all the foregoing applies equally to the trustees of unit trusts. In addition full exemption from tax on foreign income is not destroyed by the existence of Jersey resident beneficiaries (unit holders) provided that:
- formal application for exemption is made
- the trustees undertake to deduct and account for income tax in respect of any distributions to Jersey residents
- potential investors resident in Jersey are made aware, by means of a warning in the prospectus, that article 134A (the anti-avoidance provision of the income tax law) may be invoked in the case of an investment in an accumulation fund
This concession was replaced on the 3 September 2013 by a new concession, 'Jersey trustees of a trust for the benefit of non-Jersey residents'. The new concession, M1, can be found by following the link below.
Concession and Practice: Miscellaneous 1 to 8
Jersey trustees of trusts for non-charitable purposes
The liability of Jersey resident trustees of a non charitable purpose trust under which no resident of Jersey (other than a charity) has an interest or is intended to have an interest, whether during or at the end of the trust period, is the same as that of Jersey trustees of settlements for non-resident persons, as set out in M1 above.
This concession was withdrawn on the 3 September 2013, as it is now included in the new concession 'M1'.
Annuity contracts for overseas residents (further conditions)
Article 131C permits the approval of retirement annuity contracts for individuals who are resident outside Jersey.
In addition to the conditions contained in that article:
the contract is not to be offered to residents of Guernsey; and
the contract must be effected through a local financial intermediary
The purpose of condition (2) is to ensure that there is some economic benefit to the Island from this business.
The relevant parts of this concession have now been included in the pension scheme administrator guidance notes.
Pension administrator tax guidance notes
Annuity contracts - the meaning of "agency"
Among those who may obtain approval of annuity contracts under Article 131B are insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions carrying on business in Jersey or in Guernsey through a branch or agency.
The word "agency" is not defined. In general, an overseas company that otherwise qualifies will not be prohibited from obtaining approval of an annuity contract provided that it has, for example, a subsidiary or associated company operating in Jersey.
In the case of an insurance company the "agency" must ensure that, as and when required, tax is deducted from the payment of an annuity and accounted for to the Comptroller.
The definition of "agency" is now included in the pension scheme administrator guidance notes.
Pension administrator tax guidance notes
A genuine redundancy payment, even if the redundant employee has a contractual right to such a payment, will not be taxed.
Withdrawn with effect from the year of assessment 2012 and replaced with legislation taxing all termination and redundancy payments, but with a £50,000 tax free sum.
Tax on termination and redundancy payments
Annual payments (other than interest) made to non-residents under deeds etc. executed outside Jersey
Where a Jersey resident makes annual payments to non-residents under deeds, agreements or court orders executed outside Jersey, there is no right of deduction of Jersey tax.
In practice, relief is granted for a payment of this nature as a deduction from income arising abroad.
Where there is no, or insufficient, foreign income against which to set the payment it will be allowed as a charge against income provided that the original deed etc. was dated on or before 31 December 1989.
This concessions no longer applies in any cases and has been withdrawn.
Maintenance payments made under deeds executed abroad or ordered by foreign courts
This concession summarised the tax treatment of existing obligations and new obligations after the income tax law was changed in respect of maintenance payments in 1997.
A resident of the island who received a payment under an existing obligation was taxable under case v but if the payments were increased beyond the 1997 level they were capped for assessment purposes, at that level.
This no longer applies in any cases and has been withdrawn. All maintenance payments are dealt with under the income tax law, Articles 90A, 90B and 90C.
Medical insurance: cash sums payable under the policy
In order to qualify for tax relief, premiums must be paid in respect of a contract (policy) providing indemnity solely against the costs of medical and surgical treatment plus diagnosis and nursing care, or other ancillary services. Many policies pay a sum, typically £100 - £120 a night, to an individual who opts for free treatment under the local or national health service. The option to receive a reasonable sum of that kind is disregarded in deciding whether the premiums qualify for tax relief.
This concession no longer applies, as the medical insurance deduction has not been available from the year of assessment 2011.
Self administered retirement annuity contracts: further conditions
The income of the annuity fund of a resident company carrying on the business of granting annuities on human life is exempt from Jersey income tax by virtue of Article 115(fa). This has opened the way for an individual to set up his own annuity company. The annuity contract he enters into with that company requires approval under Article 131B and must therefore comply with that Article. The further conditions laid down are as follows:
- The person having control of the annuity fund must not borrow funds on its behalf and funds may not be loaned to the individual or to any person connected with the individual.
- Investment transactions between the individual (or any person connected with him) and the annuity fund are prohibited.
- Assets of the fund are not to be used for the personal benefit or enjoyment of the individual.
- The fund must not invest in a purchased life annuity.
- The annuity company is not permitted to pay an annuity. At retirement date the annuity fund, net of any permissible lump-sum, is to be applied in the purchase of an annuity from the Jersey or Guernsey office of an overseas company carrying on the business of granting annuities on human lives.
- Accounts of the company, incorporating the annuity fund, must be made up to 31 December each year, The annual claim to exemption from Jersey tax under Article 115(fa) is to be made promptly after the year-end and is to be accompanied by the accounts of the company.
This concession has been withdrawn. Rules governing self administered retirement annuity contracts are now laid out in tax information for pension scheme administrators.
Self administered retirement annuity contracts: conditions of approval
Annuity contracts: full commutation on grounds of triviality
If at the time a personal pension comes into payment the value of the fund is insufficient to produce an annual pension of £520, before the commutation allowed by Article 131B(3)(c), consideration will be given to allowing payment of the full value of the fund as a tax-free lump sum.
This concession will be withheld where the policyholder
- has any other similar policy (unless the value of all policies, as a total, is trivial)
- is a member of an occupational pension scheme (either active or with retained benefits)
- has had a similar request granted previously; or
- there is evidence to suggest that the contract was made with a view to being commuted
In certain circumstances, full commutation will be conditional upon payment to the Comptroller of Income Tax of part of the proceeds, eg where the policy holder has emigrated from Jersey leaving tax debts.
This concession has been replaced by legislation. Information about commuting pensions can be found here.
Relief for Guernsey tax: individual in receipt of small Guernsey income
A Jersey resident individual normally needs to make a request for non-resident relief to the Guernsey Administrator of Income Tax before a claim to double tax relief is granted in respect of Guernsey tax paid.
This requirement is dispensed with where the Guernsey income for the year is £1,000 or less. This dispensation applies to claims received after 31 December 1990.
This concession no longer applies as the Guernsey tax office withdrew non-resident relief from 2008.
Transfer of pension rights between Jersey and Guernsey
By reciprocal agreement between Jersey and the UK arrangements have been made to facilitate the transfer of pension rights where an individual moves from Jersey to the UK and vice versa. There is no formal arrangement between Jersey and Guernsey to facilitate the transfer of pension rights where an individual moves from Jersey to Guernsey and vice versa. In practice, however, transfer payments to or from approved annuity contracts or pension schemes in both jurisdictions can be made in these circumstances.
The reciprocal arrangement between the UK and Jersey terminated on 5 April 2006. Jersey residents who move their permanent residence to the UK following a change of employment will still be able to transfer their pension rights as before. However this will be under a published HMRC concession rather than under the reciprocal arrangement.
Transfers to and from approved pension schemes (including Guernsey) is now dealt with in the practice notes for pension scheme administrators.
Relief for United Kingdom tax: individuals in receipt of the UK old age pension
Taxpayers are normally required to make a claim for non-resident relief to the Inland Revenue before a claim to double taxation is considered. It sometimes happens, however, that there is nothing due from the Inland Revenue because the repayment has been, or would have been, absorbed by the (normally non-collectible) tax on the old age pension received from the United Kingdom’s Department of Social Security. In such cases relief is given for the United Kingdom tax upon receipt of a computation of the repayment notionally due under Section 278 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988.
A subsequent claim under Section 790 of the Taxes Act (unilateral relief) may be dispensed with. In that case, also, the Jersey tax liability will be adjusted by reference to the notional repayment.
Jersey and the UK signed a tax information exchange agreement that also covered tax arrangements on pension income with effect from 2011.
War widow's pension and war disability pensions
War widow's pensions and war disability pensions, whether paid by the United Kingdom or any other government, are not taxed.
These pensions are now exempted by legislation, Article 117 of the Income Tax (Jersey) Law, since the year of assessment 2012.
The Income Tax Law provides that the income of a married woman living with her husband is deemed to be his income for tax purposes.
Problems of varying severity may be caused by this in a minority of cases and the following practical or concessionary arrangements are in, being:
- Where the parties would wish to meet their own share of the tax bill, the Income Tax department will, on request, calculate the individual liabilities on some reasonable basis.
- A concessionary form of separate assessment will be applied if both parties request this treatment in writing, explaining the reason for the request. As privacy is usually an issue they should indicate how they would wish the tax allowances to be divided between them. Because of the non-statutory nature of this procedure its continuation will be reviewed in the event that the parties do not comply carefully and promptly with the requirements of the Income Tax Law as to the making of returns and the payment of tax.
This concession does not apply with effect from the year of assessment 2003 following the introduction of legislation governing separate assessments for married persons.
Separate assessments for married couples and civil partnerships
E-commerce: tax treatment
The tax treatment of e-commerce activities in Jersey is under development. The following guidelines should be read accordingly. It is open to companies and their advisers to discuss with the Comptroller of Income Tax what might be achievable outside these guidelines.
United Kingdom and Guernsey companies
A liability to Jersey income tax arises only if the trading activities are carried on through a permanent establishment, as defined in the Double Tax Arrangements (“DTAs”). A server does not of itself create a permanent establishment.
Other Overseas companies
Lacking the protection of DTAs, foreign companies may find themselves liable to Jersey tax on any e-commerce activity carried on in the Island, unless they obtain Exempt Company status (see paragraph 3 below).
- A Jersey company owned by local residents will be chargeable to income tax at 20% on its trading activities, including e-commerce, carried on in Jersey or elsewhere.
- An International Business Company (which must, as a general rule, be owned by non-residents or by a resident company which is itself owned by non-residents) is chargeable to tax on its profits from activities carried on outside the Island at 2%, or less. In the unusual case where the company has profits arising in Jersey the rate of tax in 30%.
- An Exempt Company is liable to income tax on trading activities only if they are carried on through an established place of business (as defined in Article 123A).
The basic criterion is that the development of e-commerce is not stifled by an inflexible tax system. A pragmatic approach will be taken wherever possible.
This concession has been withdrawn since the introduction of the zero/ten corporate tax regime.
Zero / ten tax system for companies
The Income Tax Law contains no provisions for the allowance of a trading loss incurred by a company against the trading profits of another company in the same group. It is open to company advisers to discuss with the Comptroller of Income Tax what might be done to mitigate the situation by way of reasonable “management fees” charged against the profits of the profitable company in favour of the loss making company.
“Group” in this context means parent and subsidiary companies, or a number of companies in common ownership, all residents in Jersey for tax purposes.
This concession does not apply to companies incorporated on or after 3rd June 2008 and all companies from the year of assessment 2009. Legislation is now in effect, articles 123EA and 123F of the Income Tax (Jersey) Law.
Schedule A - accounts basis
Where accounts, including a balance sheet, are supplied which are made up annually to the same date, computations on the basis of the accounts year ended within the year of assessment will be accepted, subject to the condition that assessments for the year in which income first arises, and the year of cessation, must be computed on the statutory basis. In the event of the first accounts covering a period of less than 1 year, the assessment for the second year must also be computed on the statutory basis.
A change from the accounts basis to the statutory basis will be allowed but a subsequent change to the accounts basis will be refused.
This concession no longer applies from the year of assessment 2009, but the basis of assessment of the rents etc. may remain 'grandfathered' for those companies who historically benefited from the concession.
Case V deficiency
There are no statutory provisions for relief in respect of losses arising out of the computation of profits or gains assessable under Case V of Schedule D. However, any such deficiency can be deducted from other Case V income of the year of assessment. An amount remaining unrelieved cannot be set off against income assessable under any other Case of Schedule D or other Schedule or carried forward for allowance, except that a deficiency on rental income may be carried forward and set off against future income from the same property.
This concession has been replaced by legislation from the year of assessment 2012. (Article 110A of the Income Tax (Jersey) Law.
Case VI deficiency
There are no statutory provisions for relief in respect of losses arising out of the computation of profits or gains assessable under Case VI of Schedule D. However, any such deficiency can be deducted from other Case VI income for the year of assessment. An amount remaining unrelieved cannot be set off against income assessable under any other Case of Schedule D or other Schedule, or carried forward for allowance, except that for 1990 and later years a deficiency on rental income may be carried forward and set off against income from the same property.
This concession has been withdrawn, as rents previously assessed under Schedule D Case VI are now dealt with under Schedule A.
Relief for Article 107 loss and Article 107A loss by reference to accounting year
In strictness, loss relief under Articles 107 and 107A is due in respect of the trading loss incurred in the year of assessment. However, by concession, relief is allowed in respect of the loss of the accounts year ending in the year of assessment, except in:
- the first three years of trade
- the fourth year of trade if a claim under Article 67 has been made for the second and third years
- any year immediately following a year for which Article 107 or 107A relief has been granted in respect of the loss of that calendar year
- the year of cessation of trade
- any year that the trader requests relief on the statutory basis
This concession does not apply to a company incorporated on or after 3rd June 2008 and for all companies from the year of assessment 2009.
Remuneration: assessment by reference to accounts year
The remuneration of, in particular, directors can often only be determined after the company accounts have been drawn up. In order to expedite the agreement of tax liabilities in these cases assessments may be made by reference to the remuneration of the accounts year ending in the year of assessment – the “accounts year basis”. The accounts year basis is, however, subject to acceptance by the taxpayer of the following conditions:
- The statutory basis must be applied to remuneration of -
(a) the year of commencement
(b) the year following the year of commencement where the emoluments payable for the accounts period ending in that year relate to a period of less than 12 months, and
(c) the year of cessation and the penultimate year.
- The position will be subject to review should the accounting year change. The taxpayer may revert to the statutory basis, on request, but a further request for the accounts year basis will not normally be accepted.
This concession is withdrawn for all years of assessment after 2000. From 2001 all remuneration from an office or employment is assessed on the basis of the amount received in the year of assessment.
Rents arising to traders
Where a trader received rent from a property owned or leased by him which does not form part of the property used by him or the purposes of his trade, the rent received and all expenses relating to the property must be eliminated from the computation of trading profits. However, if there has been a long-standing practice to include the rent and expenses in the computation, that practice will be allowed to continue.
This concession does not apply from the year of assessment 2009, but the basis of assessment of the rents etc may remain 'grandfathered' for those companies who historically included Jersey rents and expenses in the computation of the Schedule D Case 1 profits.
Accounts basis for investment holding companies
An investment holding company is assessable under Schedules A and D on the basis of the income less management expenses of the year of assessment. Apart from the year in which income first arises and for the year of cessation, when the assessments must be computed on the statutory basis, assessments for other years may be made by reference to the income and expenses of the accounting year ended in the year of assessment. In the event of the first accounts covering a period of less than one year, the assessment for the second year must also be computed on the statutory basis.
This concession does not apply from the year of assessment 2009, but the basis of assessment of the rents etc may remain 'grandfathered' for those companies who historically included Jersey rents and expenses in the computation of the investment income assessed under Schedule D Cases III to VI.
Foreign Incorporated Investment Companies
Exemption from income tax is granted to a foreign incorporated investment company that can comply with certain conditions. Investment company means a company that is not carrying on a trade.
This concession is no longer in effect with the introduction of the zero/ten corporate tax regime. Information on the reporting of foreign companies can be found by following the link below.
Global tax return for foreign companies (GRFIC)