Guernsey’s Woes Continue in the face of continuing pressure from the UK Government in their drive to chase those who they deem to be looking to evade tax.
Not only have 310 of the 313 Qualifying Recognised Offshore Pension Schemes been de-registered off of the Her Majesty’s Customs and Exercise on April 13 2012. HMRC have also targeted a number of other schemes which have earn’t the Guernsey financial services industry considerable money including;
- Focus has been centered on the corporation tax system in Guernsey which allows for companies which are registered and locate within Guernsey pay zero corporation tax. Although some profits on a few banking activities have to pay 10% tax. However the European Union code of conduct group believes that the corporation tax scheme is harmful to the rest of the European Union.
Furthermore companies are being struck by an additional levy whereby;
- The Low Value Consignment Relief known otherwise known as (LVRC) has been recently banned. This allowed companies which were exporting products such as books, CDS and DVDs under £15 from outside of the European Union to the UK. A number of large firms including Amazon have large regional distribution services based in Guernsey to take advantage of the Low Value Consignment Relief. There is considerable nervousness that a number of these firms will leave Guernsey as a response.
Both the Guernsey Treasury and Resources Ministry and the Guernsey Association of Pension Providers are up in arms about the continued focus on the Guernsey financial and corporate sector. They feel that they are being unjustly targeted by Her Majesty Customs and Excise, meanwhile countries such as Malta, Isle of Man and Gibralter they feel are getting off very lightly.
The drive by HMRC is being led by the UK Chancellor George Osborne who is targeting many jurisdictions which are, it is argued, being used as a way to evade paying tax. With the economy just going into a double dip recession the UK Government is determined to claw as much money back as they feel is rightfully theirs. The Labour Party, under Ed Miliband, supports many of the changes being made but, his Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls believes that the Coalition party is not going far enough.
Many expatriates who are now looking to invest their money overseas are feeling rightly nervous and aggrieved at the constant changing of the rules and regulations concerning many of the offshore financial schemes that previously the UK Government supported. It is felt that it will take a few months yet for the dust to settle and for it to become clear where is best to domicile their money.
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