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The residence status of an individual is an important tax concept as it forms the basis of how an individual is taxed in the Island. An individual who is not resident in Jersey is subject to Jersey income tax only upon Jersey income with the exception of Jersey bank interest. Individuals, who are resident but not ordinarily resident, are liable to Jersey income tax on all Jersey-source income and foreign source income to the extent that it is remitted to the Island. Persons, who are resident and ordinarily resident, are liable on their worldwide income irrespective of whether or not the income is remitted to the Island.
The terms resident and ordinarily resident are not defined by statute. The Jersey authorities look to the decisions decided in the UK courts and draw useful inferences from these cases. The authorities will generally give these expressions their common sense meaning, stressing that residence is a question of fact. An individual is regarded as resident in Jersey if:
a) he is physically present in the Island for a period of six months or more in a calendar year;
b) he has accommodation in Jersey which is available for his use and he visits the Island for whatever length of time; or
c) he does not maintain a place of abode in Jersey but visits the Island regularly and, after four years, his visits during those four years average three months or more per year.
In the latter case residence will commence from the fifth year unless it was his intention to make such visits to Jersey from the start of the period concerned.
A person is ordinarily resident in Jersey if he is habitually so resident. This has been taken to mean a regular choice of abode which forms a settled purpose and part of a regular order of an individual's life. Three years' actual or intended continuous residence is the standard test. If, however, accommodation in Jersey is, or becomes, available for an individual's use, it is likely that he will be treated as provisionally ordinarily resident from when the accommodation first became available.
A concession exists in Jersey which treats an individual as resident but not ordinarily resident even where the individual has available accommodation in the Island. This concession applies only where an individual's centre of life is abroad, in the sense that he has a home and business or professional activities abroad which keep him more or less continuously outside Jersey. The concession would not apply if the average annual period spent in the Island amounts to more than three months.
The tax year is 1 January to 31 December. Income other than that from trades and professions is assessed on the basis of the actual income for the tax year, whilst income from trades and professions is generally assessed on the basis of the results of a prior period.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
For further information contact Jonathan G. Hooley on Tel (indirect line): + 44 (0) 1481 721000, Tel (direct line): +44 (0) 1481 719544, Fax: +44 (0) 1481 722373.
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