GAT Newsletter – September 2016

Industry News

GAT EGM & Members Lunch is being held Wednesday 5th October 2016

This is your invite to attend the GAT Members Quarterly Lunch & EGM which is on Wednesday 5th October 2016 from 12.30pm at the Conservatory, Moores Hotel.

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GAT Chair, Mark Pattimore has called an EGM for the sole purpose of amending the GAT Constitution and adopting the amendments in the document below.

Please click guernsey-association-of-trustees-constitution to view and download. Please be advised that we will not be providing hard copies of this document so please print and bring this with you.

The aim of the amendment which can be seen from the proposed document is to allow membership of GAT for non fiduciaries as well as the existing membership to more readily align the Association of Trustees for the challenges ahead and to also allow for more input from stakeholders in the affairs and future of the fiduciary industry in Guernsey.

After the EGM, Mark Pattimore GAT Chair will highlight current matters the committee have been involved with and lead discussion on these including the Central Registry and changes with Guernsey Finance.

We are also delighted to welcome Nigel Garland and colleagues from Guernsey Income Tax to talk to members on the following issues:

  • The update to the CSP return.
  • Experiences/ problems/ issues with the FATCA returns from June.
  • CRS returns next year, the likely way forward and things members should look for.

If you have any questions you would like us to put to them in advance, please email these to sarahw@fws.gg

Click here to Book

We are Guernsey Monthly News

Please find below a link to the latest GF Update. Feel free to share with colleagues around your office and invite them to sign up to the newsletter themselves by filling out the sign-up option in the footer of the http://www.weareguernsey.com/ website.

The September issue includes…
• A look at the new WE ARE GUERNSEY brand / website and literature
• The 2016 / 17 events calendar
• Business development updates from the GF’s international team
• The latest technical news affecting industry
• A round-up of GF and industry news

Click on the link to read the newsletter in full:
http://www.weareguernsey.com/gf-update/

Chinese Delegates

On 18 September, five Chinese delegates from the Griffin Plutus Family Office in Shanghai were welcomed to Guernsey, as part of an initiative led by Guernsey Finance. The GTA University was asked to put together a five-day training programme for the delegates. Programme Manager Michelle Morley worked with Alison MacKrill and Russell Clark (STEP Committee Members) to plan a series of interesting presentations and visits. During their stay, Chinese guests had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the GFSC, Butterfield Trust, Mourant Ozannes, the Guernsey Registry, Appleby, Asset Risk Consultants (ARC), Carey Olsen, ICSA, Collas Crill, STEP, Deloitte LLP, the Royal Court, GAT and the GTA University Centre. The visit culminated in a presentation of certificates at the GTA, a tour of the Royal Court with the Deputy Bailiff and the STEP Guernsey Ball.

The delegates had a wonderful week and were extremely grateful for the hospitality shown to them by the island’s business community, where senior representatives from many local companies gave up their time to host meals and give presentations. For the latter, a wide range of topics were explored, including ‘What is a Fiduciary?’, ‘Regulation and Compliance’ and ‘Data Protection’. The visit was arranged after Guernsey Finance signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Shanghai Family Office Union, on behalf of Guernsey’s financial services sector. It will undoubtedly increase the depth of cooperation between the two parties and lead to new business development opportunities for the island.

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AGB: Payment Issues with Commerzbank

Further to recent concerns raised by AGB and other finance sector firms, Government have had discussions with Commerzbank.

Whilst the rationale for restricting certain payment restrictions have not been confirmed the following facts have been established:

• block on outgoing payments had now been removed
• in respect of incoming payments Commerzbank was happy to make payments to what they refer to as third party banks (e.g. a London bank) which could then be paid onto a Guernsey bank account
• whilst this position is likely to be reviewed it is unlikely to change in the immediate future.

In this regard Government propose to keep a watching brief and would like to hear from any firms that continue to experience difficulties. This position is aligned with Jersey.

First step towards a new EU list of third country jurisdictions: Scoreboard
Overview

SENT ON BEHALF OF DEPUTY GAVIN ST PIER

Dear all

As you will know, today the EU Commission has published its desktop ‘scoreboarding’ exercise of non-EU countries and jurisdictions.

The EU Commission is asking the European Council (ECOFIN) to then review its published list, and invite ‘dialogue’ with a number of those third countries, which will effectively be an assessment of their corporate tax regimes against a set of criteria that are yet to be finalised, and to be carried out by the EU Code Group.

The scoreboarding looked at three indicators relating to the financial importance of a jurisdiction, the extent of the economic ties to the EU, and stability factors (including the tax regime).

Of the jurisdictions identified as significant on the basis of these indicators, the Commission looked further at three ‘potential risk indicators’ that it believes could be relevant for evaluating the risk of tax avoidance. These risk indicators are transparency, the existence of a preferential (discriminatory) corporate tax regime, and the existence of no or zero corporate tax.

Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man have one risk indicator only in relation to the existence of no or zero corporate tax rate. Other non-EU countries that appear on the same scoreboard and have more than one risk indicator include the United States, Brazil, China and India. I have attached the scoreboards below:

scoreboard-of-indicators

The EU Commission has said that: “The pre-assessment does not represent any judgement of third countries, nor is it a preliminary EU list. Countries can feature high in the scoreboard’s indicators for a number of reasons, even when they pose no threat to Member States’ tax bases.”

Guernsey volunteered for assessment by the EU Code Group in 2011-12, and its corporate tax regime was confirmed as being compliant with EU rules. We will welcome any opportunity to demonstrate that our corporate tax regime remains compliant. If invited into dialogue with the Code Group, it will be an opportunity to reinforce the stability of Guernsey’s corporate tax regime. Any dialogue process would take place during 2017.

I understand that some Member States would like additionally to see a criterion relating to tax rates included in any future EU Code Group assessment process. There is no agreement on this yet, which is unsurprising as there is no agreement on minimum taxation as an internal EU policy, and nor does it form part of any international standard, nor of the EU’s own current Code Group criteria. The OECD itself has confirmed that “low or no taxation” is not of itself harmful – it is only harmful if it is discriminatory and is combined with lack of transparency and information exchange, and the EU Commissioner Moscovici as well as Member States themselves have acknowledged that neither of those are the case with Guernsey.

I will be going to Brussels in November to meet with representatives from the EU Commission and Member States to discuss this further and will provide feedback on those meetings.

I would be very grateful if you would forward this on to colleagues in industry who are not included in this circulation list.

Kind regards,

Gavin

Deputy Gavin St Pier
President of the Policy & Resources Committee”

Consultation on Country by Country Reporting

The Policy & Resources Committee (“PRC”) is seeking feedback, comments and suggestions on the proposal for the States to introduce Country by Country Reporting (“CbCR”).

Closing date: Friday 21 October 2016.

PRC would like to invite comments in respect of the Proposal that can be viewed here:

consultation-on-country-by-country-reporting-sept-2016

This consultation paper is a working document and does not prejudge any final decision to be made by the PRC.

Please refer to section 5 “Responding to the Proposal” for full details of how to respond to this consultation paper.

Your GTA, Your Opinion –  Customer Survey

We would be grateful if you could spare 5 to 10 minutes to share your opinion about the GTA University Centre and the training issues that are important to you.

Your feedback will help shape the way the GTA deliver their services to meet the future needs of the island’s businesses and community so that they can continue to contribute to the success of the Bailiwick by providing excellent post-graduate, professional and technical training on island.

Click here to complete the survey.

Please share your views by 5 October 2016.

Red Carnation Group hotels

Kate Clouston (We are Guernsey) has kindly negotiated discounts at Red Carnation Group hotels in London for GIBA’s members.

To access the discounts of 15% off the ‘Best Available Rate’, please follow the link below and click on ‘BOOK NOW’ (not ‘VISIT SITE’).

http://www.redcarnationhotels.com/giba

GIBA Council Minutes

Please click on the download below to view the summary minutes from the meeting of GIBA Council on 16 August.

GIBA August Summary Minutes

Forthcoming Events

Remember to check our Events Calendar for Industry presentations and other events that may be of interest.

STEP LECTURE SERIES 2016 / 17

Lunchtime Lecture No. 2

Date: Monday 17th October 2016
Time: Registration at 11.45am Lecture at 12.00pm
Venue: The Dorey Room, St James
Guest Speaker: Paul Hodgson & Hannah Bisson, Bank of Butterfield (Guernsey) Limited
Title: 
“Proposals for a Register of Beneficial Ownership of Guernsey Companies’”
Covering:

  • A look at the current position in Guernsey versus the main new proposals;
  • A comparison to the UK ‘Persons of Significant Control’ Register now in force;
  • Details of who will be able to access the information; and
  • How the proposals would affect service providers here in Guernsey once enacted.

Book your place HERE

Evening Lecture No. 2

Date: Monday Wed 19th October 2016
Time: Registration at 5.15pm Lecture at 5.30pm
Venue: The Dorey Room, St James
Guest Speaker: Patrick Harney & Jeremy Robertson, Forsters
Title: “Opportunities for Guernsey trust business in the US/UK market place”
Covering:

  • Fundamentals of US taxation affecting trusts and individuals
  • Differences between US and UK trusts and their taxation
  • What are the “throwback rules” and why are foreign trusts so bad from a US perspective?
  • Foreign grantor trusts and why this can be a growth area for Guernsey trust business?
  • Retaining trust business in Guernsey after the death of the settlor of a foreign grantor trust through a PTC arrangement with a US CSP

Book your place HERE

GDPR Briefing Event

The States of Guernsey is holding a briefing event on 11th October focussing on the General Data Protection Regulation.

gdpr-briefing-event

Saffery Champness Breakfast Briefing

You are invited to a breakfast briefing about the government’s next stage consultation in relation to the proposed changes to the taxation of non-UK domiciled individuals (non-doms) and inheritance tax on UK residential property.

Speaking at the event will be partners from The Saffery Champness London office, Clare Cromwell, Emma Hendron and Robert Langston. They have recently produced a Taxation Briefing on the government’s consultation document.

This is a free event and you can book your place by emailing: Lisa Roberts (lisa.roberts@saffery.gg)

Please click and download the link below for more information:

saffery-champness-breakfast-briefing-non-dom-2016-invite

ICSA Guernsey Awards

The ICSA Guernsey Awards reward individuals, teams and organisations for excellence in delivering the highest standards in governance.

You can nominate yourself, a colleague, your team, your company or anyone you know in one or more of the following categories:

  •  Company Secretary of the Year
  • Corporate Services Team of the Year – Sponsored by Perivan
  • Corporate Services Officer of the Year
  • Governance, Risk and Compliance Award of the Year – Sponsored by Carey Olsen
  • One to Watch

The ICSA Guernsey Awards are open to all Guernsey-based ICSA members working for private, public and not-for-profit organisations, and include both individuals and teams.

Making a nomination is easy; you can enter by emailing the nomination form to Paul Smith, Chairman of the Judging Panel. This can be downloaded from their website.

Entry is completely free and the deadline for submission is: Friday 7 October 2016.

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Annual Dinner – Friday 11 November 2016

Award winners will be announced at the black-tie ICSA Guernsey Annual Dinner at The Old Government House Hotel on Friday 11 November 2016.

Book your place today

Sponsor Content

Items of relevance and interest to Members brought to you by GAT Sponsors. Click here to see Sponsor page.

HMRC consult on a new “requirement to correct” and introduce a new worldwide disclosure facility

HMRC has announced a new consultation that takes forward their “No Safe Havens” strategy for tackling offshore tax evasion.
The new consultation includes a proposal that taxpayers who have offshore interests will have a legal “requirement to correct” (“RTC”) obligation. Any tax irregularities linked to offshore interests must be corrected by 30 September 2018.

Please read the full briefing note by Sponsor’s KPMG here:

kpmg-update-gat-newsletter-september-2016

Guernsey issues guidance on classification of investment entities for the Common Reporting Standard

On 29 July 2016, the States of Guernsey Income Tax (“ITO”) published their latest bulletin on guidance in relation to the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) in Guernsey. Bulletin 2016/6 repeats the text of the definition of Investment Entity, as set out in Section VIII A(6) of the CRS and affirms the Supplementary Guidance Notes published in draft on 24 December 2015 in relation to the CRS.

This client bulletin explains the significance of Bulletin 2016/6 and why its publication is timely, please read the bulletin HERE

To be or not to be “momentous” – trustee court applications in Guernsey

As a trustee, the issue of whether a particular decision is “momentous” is often clear, as is the need to apply to court for its blessing of that decision. However, there are many circumstances where the position is less clear, or where there are complicating factors which make the decision more complex.

The Royal Court of Guernsey has given a very useful and succinct summary of the applicable law when a trustee is considering whether to seek the court’s blessing of a “momentous” decision.

Carey Olsen have issued their guidance on this and you can view the publication HERE

Letter from America: Jersey’s Royal Court orders trust information to be revealed under a letter of request

Will a Jersey trustee be compelled to reveal otherwise confidential trust information to a foreign court where that foreign court issues a letter of request asking for the information? Even if the trustee objects that disclosure of the information is not in its beneficiaries’ best interests?

The Royal Court in Jersey has done exactly that in a case where assisting a foreign court to obtain all relevant material to the issues it had to decide was considered to outweigh the beneficiaries’ interests in keeping the information confidential.  Read more HERE

The European Commission adopts the EU-US Privacy Shield

On 12 July 2016, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield, bringing to an end (at least temporarily) a period of uncertainty over the framework under which EU-US data transfers should be lawfully effected.

The implementation of Privacy Shield has been welcomed in a number of quarters, bringing some stability to an issue that has been subject to great uncertainty since the Safe Harbor regime was invalidated in October 2015 (read more HERE. However, it may yet be subject to a legal challenge, as some campaigners (and EU data protection authorities) consider that it does not go far enough in terms of the protection of rights and in particular, the prevention of indiscriminate mass surveillance by the US authorities.  Carey Olsen explains more HERE