I published the executive summary of a draft of the OECD Peer Review of Jersey’s preparedness for tax information exchange on Tuesday. I did so in the public interest, as I noted at the time.
Some people have asked me since if the review was as bad as I implied. Well, all reviews stand or fall in comparison. This one does, therefore require comparison, and it should be compared with the review of another state (a larger state) also being considered in draft right now, which I have also been sent but which I have no reason to identify. Let me compare the two conclusion paragraps from the executive summaries. This is Jersey’s:
Overall, this review of Jersey identifies a legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information which generally functions effectively to ensure that the required information will be available and accessible. However, the review notes Jersey’s small amount of EOI experience to date, a matter which was referred to by a number of Jersey’s peers who provided input into this review. Nonetheless, Jersey’s practices to date have generally demonstrated a responsive and cooperative approach, with a willingness to develop its laws and procedures to reflect best practices appropriate to its circumstances.
And this is that for the country I won’t identify:
Overall, xxxxx has a excellent system for the exchange of information in tax matters. Its laws are clear and ensure that the appropriate information is available and accessible to â€šÃ„¶.. for international information exchange matters. This information can be exchanged with nearly â€šÃ„¶. other countries. Xxxxxx’s competent authority is clearly dedicated to performing this role well, to support xxxxx’s national tax system, to progress international tax matters and to fulfil its international obligations.
Note the difference in style? In diplomatic reports, such as these that says it all.
In which case let’s have no more of this nonsense that Jersey stands at the forefront of cooperation and regulation.
It doesn’t. And that was the point I sought to make before these documents are toned down, as is inevitable, as they proceed to final form.