Over the last decade we have seen a significant shift in the thinking of tax authorities within a cash strapped Europe. People will need to come to terms with the impact of an ever increasing loss of financial secrecy for their affairs no matter where they locate them.
We now see this vision of transparency on personal affairs of Europeans being further eroded with the confirmation in May 2013 of the revised savings tax directive with adoption by the end of the year across the European Union which will see information distributions from investment funds, income from life assurance policies and innovative financial instruments. By the end of this year and from 2015 it will be extended to include pensions, directors fees, income from employment, income from immovable property and life policies not covered by other EU laws on exchange of information.
Guernsey has been at the leading edge of tax transparency and cooperation with governments around the world for a number of years as evidenced by Guernsey’s position with the UK and the G8, and the recent visit by the IMF and their report. This is why Guernsey is seen as a strong and well regulated jurisdiction for clients and companies to do business in. The real question is will jurisdictions in the G8 join Guernsey in regulating Trust and corporate providers and will they all hold beneficial owner information and themselves be transparent?