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Jersey delegation to visit US to rebut tax haven status

Jersey government officials will travel to Washington in March to defend the island against an expected renewed attack on offshore financial centres by US lawmakers.They will meet ne

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Jersey government officials will travel to Washington in March to defend the island against an expected renewed attack on offshore financial centres by US lawmakers.

They will meet new key contacts installed by US president Barack Obama, and policymakers involved in deciding which offshore financial jurisdictions will be named in future legislation aimed at cracking down on the use of offshore tax havens.

Jersey was one of 34 jurisdictions included on a ‘blacklist’ contained in a proposed bill, the so-called Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, introduced into the US senate in 2007 and backed by President Obama.

The bill is aimed at preventing the loss of what its sponsors claim is $100bn in unpaid tax revenue each year.
 

The 34 jurisdictions – which also included Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Luxembourg – were deemed by the proposed legislation to have “corporate, business, bank or tax secrecy rules and  practices” that the US regarded as unreasonably restrictive.
 

Jersey, which signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with the US in 2002, is confident it will be removed from the list when it is reviewed next, according to Martin De Forest-Brown, director of international finance for Jersey’s Chief Minister’s office.

But he added that it cannot hurt to ensure that “the widest possible audience is clear” about Jersey’s willingness to cooperate with the demands of the US authorities.

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