The Jersey Evening Post had an article in its pages on Friday with the title:
Any truth in Murphy's Law?
The Murphy is question turned out to be:
arch enemy of tax havens Richard Murphy.
I know that's me because they referred to my blog from last Monday on the Isle of Man failing to secure EU approval for its tax code.
The article rests secure in the assurance of Terry Le Sueur that 0/10 is EU compliant, as if fixing a tax rate were all there was to it. But as even the Jersey Evening Post says, sharing Jersey's proposals informally with UK officials may not be:
the same thing as full EU approval. A statement from the EU, in writing, would be mightily comforting.
Well, I'll tell you, you're whistling in the wind if you think you're going to get one. That's not how the EU code works. It's not a box ticking exercise. It's an exercise in showing commitment to the principles inherent in the process. And the Isle of Man has been told it has failed that commitment as much as it has been told that its Distributable Profits Charge was unacceptable. Which is exactly why I'll also report that I know that Allan Bell, finance minister of the Isle of Man has told influential people in Jersey that not only has the Isle of Man been told it's failed to comply with the Code but he has not been told what they have to do to comply.
The answer though is simple. It's that they have to embrace the spirit of the Code. That means ending harmful tax practices. It's quite simple. And whilst Jersey and the Isle of Man fail to do just that they've little chance of securing approval for their taxes. And so the saga will continue.
PS Thanks to Chris Steel for the JEP article