The Taxation (Exchange of Information with Third Countries) (Amendment No. 7) (Jersey) Regulations 2013 came into force on 6 November 2013, and amends the Regulations governing the exchange of information relating to tax matters.
The following amendments are noteworthy and are likely to have a considerable impact on individuals and trust companies:
- The Comptroller of Taxes (the Comptroller) is no longer required to provide the taxpayer with reasons for issuing the notice. This will naturally make challenging the notices more difficult.
- A taxpayer or third party seeking to challenge the Comptroller's decision must now do so by way of judicial review. Any challenge must now be mounted within 14 days of receiving the notice (rather than the previous 21 day period).
- Even if a challenge is mounted, the recipient of the notice is still required to provide a response and the information requested by the Comptroller within the specified deadline as set out in the notice, or within 15 days (not 30 days as under the previous Regulations) if a deadline is not expressly set out.
- The Comptroller must not provide the information provided to it to the foreign competent authority until (1) the time period for commencing judicial review proceedings has elapsed; (2) an application for judicial review has been withdrawn or dismissed; or (3) it is ordered to do so by the Royal Court.
- It is important to note that there is no longer a right to appeal to the Jersey Court of Appeal. Therefore, if an application for judicial review is not successful, the party may only appeal to the Privy Council, and then only if they are granted leave to do so.
These amendments were considered necessary in order to bring Jersey's regulations in line with those in other jurisdictions and to speed up the process of responding to requests, which it seems has been done by limiting the statutory scope of an appeal to the Royal Court.
It is interesting to note that following the coming into force of these amendments the French government has removed Jersey from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions so it appears that the amendments have had the desired effect. It is clear that recipients of such notices will need to act quickly to consider the notice and provide a response in order to comply with the Regulations.