Tax haven Jersey in the spotlight
The Guardian has published two major articles on the British tax haven of Jersey. The first article explores the island's role as primarily a centre for complex tax avoidance, something which the spokespeople of Jersey Finance are always anxious to deny, though experts with the island's finance sector are less cagey in private:
"Only in private will a small number of Channel Islands politicians and businessmen betray any trace of personal misgivings about the manner in which the local finance industry trades on complex tax structures to help big business and super-rich individuals cut their tax bills.
"When a horse falls from heaven you don't check its teeth, do you?" said one government figure, who asked not to be named. "And the finance industry is like that here."
Another lawyer who works in Jersey's trust industry, looking after assets of overseas millionaires, explains over a beer that local rules mean he must know the commercial rationale for the structures he administers. "The answer is generally always tax. Tax and inheritance planning." He too spoke only in confidence."
You can read the entire article here.
The second article concerns political reactions in Jersey to the mounting international pressure to close down tax havens. Disappointed at the lack of support from the Tory-led British government (the Tories have long supported tax havenry, but are more concerned now about protecting the City of London than protecting the VAT scams of the fulfillment industry), senior politicians in Jersey are now openly calling for independence from the UK. Read more here.