The States of Guernsey 2012 Budget Report contains a section
advising of proposals to introduce legislation enabling the States
to recover document duty at 3% on the transfer for value of any
interest in any legal entity which owns, either directly or
indirectly, real property in Guernsey.
Currently, individual purchasers pay document duty as a
percentage of a property's value. If the proposals come into
effect by the estimated date of 1 January 2014 the loophole that
exists, in which purchasers of companies owning open market
dwellings can take advantage of the absence of duty on share sales,
The proposal is similar to that of Jersey's Land Transaction
Tax Regime, which ensures equality of tax rate on sales by share
transfer as for domestic land.
It is intended that the new regime will go beyond simply
imposing duty on transfers of shares so that duty will be levied on
transfers of interests in trusts, foundations, limited partnerships
and other real property owning legal entities.
The obligation to pay duty will relate to transfers of entities
that own both residential and commercial property.
The intention is that the transferor and transferee will both be
under a duty to notify the States of Guernsey of changes in
ownership of shares and other relevant interests in legal entities
which own real property and pay the duty owing.
Liability for payment of the duty will be placed on both
transferor and transferee but with a provision for the transferee
to indemnify the transferor for any duty paid by the latter. There
will be penalties for failure to notify the States where a relevant
transaction has taken place.
There will be provision for exemptions to be prescribed by
My hope is that exemptions will include, for example, the
transfer of shares in entities that own real property in Guernsey
that are quoted on a recognised stock exchange and the transfer of
interests in any entity whose principal activity is not the
ownership of real property but which happens to own Guernsey real
I expect there will be some method of valuing the real property
owned by an entity, which also owns other assets, in order to
calculate the duty payable.
The introduction date of the new law will depend on the priority
given to its drafting by the Policy Council but it is intended that
the new regime will be in place no later than 1 January 2014.
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Maltese tax law provides for rules which grant beneficiaries referred to as ‘Highly Qualified Persons' to be taxed at a reduced rate of tax of 15% on their employment income, provided certain conditions are satisfied.
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