On Wednesday 17th June, the European Union published a blacklist
of international tax havens which are considered to be
"non-cooperative". Thirty jurisdictions have been
blacklisted, but Guernsey, one of the thirty, has been blacklisted
in error. The States of Guernsey, Guernsey's legislative body,
is currently in communication with the EU to remove Guernsey from
the blacklist as quickly as possible.
The European Commissioner for Tax, Pierre Moscovici, has
described the blacklist as an attempt to "push non-cooperative
non-EU jurisdictions to be more cooperative and adopt international
standards". Guernsey, though, is already a jurisdiction which
rigorously upholds the tax-transparency standards requested by the
EU itself. It is, after all, due to Guernsey's transparency and
cooperation that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has eschewed
referring to Guernsey as a 'tax haven' since 2013.
To qualify for this blacklist, a jurisdiction must be
blacklisted by a certain number of the EU's member states.
However, the EU has incorrectly claimed that Poland has blacklisted
Guernsey, when in fact Poland has only blacklisted Sark. For this
reason, Guernsey has not been blacklisted by the required number of
member states and so should not feature on the EU blacklist.
The Chief Executive Officer of the States of Guernsey, Paul
Whitfield, has expressed his surprise that Guernsey has been
included on the blacklist and has explained that the error is most
likely due to "a lack of understanding about Guernsey's
Chief Minister Jonathan Le Tocq has stated that it is his
priority to remove Guernsey from this blacklist as soon as
"This is an unfortunate circumstance but we are confident
that the swift response by government will return matters to
business as usual shortly." said Paul Wilkes, Group Partner at
Collas Crill. "Guernsey's commitment to international
standards is clear and the jurisdiction remains a competitive and
highly regarded place for your clients to prosper."
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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