UK taxman close to doing tax disclosure deal with Guernsey

HM Revenue & Customs and the Channel Island of Guernsey will be signing a tax disclosure deal imminently: according to a report by Calum Fuller in Accountancy Age this week.

The UK has a rolling programme, attempting to get Crown Dependencies – previously considered impregnable fortresses of banking secrecy and offshore tax havens, to agree to disclose bank details of UK citizens banking there.

The agreement will be modelled on the USA’s Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act (FATCA).  The imminent deal with Guernsey follows hot on the heels of the recent agreement with the Isle of Man.  Deals with the Channel Islands of Jersey and Sark are rumoured to be in the offing.

Guernsey‘s Chief Minister, Peter Harwood, was quoted: “Guernsey is fully committed to combating tax evasion and the principle of automatic [information] exchange.  [This] reinforces Guernsey’s commitment to tax transparency”.

The Isle of Man disclosure programme means UK residents with assets on the island have until September 2016 to: disclose full details to HMRC; and pay any back tax owed, along with interest, and also penalties (ranging from 10% – 20% of the evaded tax).  Unlike the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility Tax Amnesty the Manx arrangement does not guarantee immunity from criminal prosecution. The Guernsey arrangements are likely to be similar to those agreed with the IoM.

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