7 July 2015Accounting & tax analysis

OECD backs Guernsey following blacklisting

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has highlighted Guernsey’s reputation as a cooperative jurisdiction.

This follows Guernsey’s recent inclusion on the European Commission’s tax blacklist. The list, which consists of 30 jurisdictions, consolidates national tax ‘blacklists’ as they stood six months ago and includes any jurisdiction on ten or more Member States’ blacklists.

Guernsey’s chief minister, Jonathan Le Tocq, said: “The European Commission shoehorned Guernsey onto an arbitrary list of so-called non-cooperative jurisdictions three weeks ago. Since then the UK government has made it clear to the Commission that Guernsey should not be on any list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, and now the OECD has done the same,” said

Monica Bhatia, head of the secretariat of the OECD global forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, said: "I am very surprised that Guernsey has been included in a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. We are very pleased with the cooperation Guernsey has shown as a very active member of the global forum.

“It has demonstrated its commitment to upholding the highest standards of transparency and exchange of information. This is evident through its rating on its peer review and the fact that it has committed to the new global standard on automatic exchange of information as an early adopter. We look forward to continuing this close and cooperative relationship with Guernsey.”

Pascal Saint-Amans, the OECD’s head of global tax policy, added: “Guernsey is in the leading group of jurisdictions who are active in the practical implementation of tax transparency and co-operation. Their adherence to the internationally accepted standards developed by the OECD means that there is clear and demonstrable criteria against which the OECD can consider them as a cooperative jurisdiction. The fact that Guernsey has been peer reviewed as part of the global forum illustrates that other jurisdictions also consider Guernsey transparent and cooperative against those international standards.”

These comments come two months after European Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici met with Guernsey’s Chief Minister.

Moscovici said: “I very much welcome the active engagement of the Channel Islands in the key initiatives involved in the fight against tax evasion, fraud and abusive tax avoidance in which they are important partners of the EU. Their commitment to the adoption of the Common Reporting Standard on automatic exchange of information, alongside the EU Member States, is particularly positive.”