Overview

The next phase of the Charities (Jersey) Law 2014 was enacted on May 1 2018, allowing entities to finally register as charities under the law.

While registration will be voluntary, it will be necessary to ensure that entities are entitled to certain Jersey tax reliefs and to use the word 'charity'.

The remaining provisions of the law are expected to come into force on January 1 2019, which will amend Jersey taxation legislation in relation to charities.

This is an exciting opportunity for Jersey to reinforce and develop its status as a centre of excellence for philanthropy both in private wealth management and impact investing.

The law:

  • introduces a register of recognised charities with general, restricted and historic sections which will provide distinct levels of public access to data on the register;
  • creates the Office of the Commissioner, which will oversee all charities and ensure enforcement of the law; and
  • provides a framework by which charities in Jersey will be regulated.

Five things you need to know

Individuals or corporate bodies that administer and run charities will be known as 'governors' and will have a new statutory duty under the law which will apply in addition to any existing duties as trustees of a trust or council members of a foundation.

The law restricts the use of the terms 'charity' and 'Jersey charity' so that, broadly speaking, only registered charities (and certain overseas charities) may refer to themselves as 'charities' from 2019.

From 2019, entities must be registered as a charity under the law to obtain the relevant charitable exemptions from Jersey taxation, albeit subject to limited exceptions.

The general (public) section of the register is likely to be for entities wishing to:

  • register as a charity;
  • raise funds from the public;
  • have full access to Jersey tax reliefs; and
  • use the term 'charity'.

The restricted section is likely to be for those entities not wishing to raise funds from the public but that still want to receive Jersey tax reliefs and maintain the right to use the term 'charity' and preserve client confidentiality.

Four things you need to do

Service providers and trust companies should review the charitable entities that they administer and consider whether to register. If the decision is made to register, service providers and trust companies should also consider whether the registration application should be made under the general or restricted sections.

Service providers and trust companies should also check the names of the companies, trusts and foundations that they administer to ascertain whether they have the word 'charity' in the title and review – specifically for those entities that will not be registering – whether the entity's name needs to be amended.

If a service providers and trust companies is going to register, it must draft registered charitable purposes and a registered public benefit statement for each entity and collate the documents required for registration.

Further, service providers and trust companies should target opportunities where trust company clients may be interested in having a registered philanthropic structure in Jersey – a major, politically-stable financial centre, with strong professional services and legal foundations.

For further information on this topic please contact James Campbell or Katherine Neal at Ogier by telephone (+44 1534 514 000) or email (james.campbell@ogier.com or katherine.neal@ogier.com). The Ogier website can be accessed at www.ogier.com.

This article was first published by the International Law Office, a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. Register for a free subscription.