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No offshore tax abuse in Jersey, experts say

Don’t bother looking to Jersey if you’re on the hunt for evidence of tax abuse, as experts say the amount of actual wrongdoing occurring there is minuscule.

There’s a serious dearth of any sort of hard evidence that Crown Dependencies such as Jersey are contributing to IR35 violations or overseas tax avoidance schemes, economic expert E-Capital says. In fact, the amount of business conducted in Jersey relating to private Brits is tiny, with only one out of every ten bank deposits from Brits and an even smaller four per cent of private trust assets.

So why are these figures so low? Well it’s obvious if you think about it – Jersey has absolutely Draconian legislation designed to thwart the efforts of money launderers and tax cheats, and when combined with new EU directives and UK tax codes, it’s nearly impossible to use Jersey to avoid paying your fair share of taxes to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

Yet still it’s a common misconception that the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey are all tax havens for the super-rich or morally bankrupt, mostly due to a handful of high-profile tax avoidance schemes used by major public figures such as Jimmy Carr. Still, E-Capital insists that their research has revealed that the amount of actual tax avoidance taking place in these locales is dwarfed by the amount of revenue generated by the business relationship between Jersey and the UK.

Now that’s not to say that there isn’t some tax avoidance going on in places like Jersey, as there always enterprising fraudsters that won’t let a little thing like strict laws get in the way of their goal of leaving the taxman unpaid. Still, if HMRC is losing less than the UK taxpayer is gaining from a close-knit relationship with Jersey, I honestly don’t feel like we have anything to worry about – especially not when there are so many more important issues to fret about, such as the way multinationals are getting away with murder by somehow managing to avoid paying hundreds of millions if not billions in taxes over the years!

The idea that a major firm such as Amazon or Starbucks is going through Jersey to launder their ill-gotten gains is quite ludicrous in the face of such strict legislation there. No, multinationals have a myriad of overseas locales to run their money through to escape the taxman’s tender embrace; Jersey is mostly off the hook on this one in my opinion.

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