Jersey, Channel Islands
Jersey introduced economic substance legislation for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019. Jersey tax resident companies carrying on relevant activities will be required to meet an economic substance test.
Relevant activities are defined as any of the following businesses:
- Fund management
- Finance and leasing
- Holding company
- Intellectual property holding
- Distribution and service centre
Self-managed funds are required to demonstrate they have substance in Jersey for any financial period that commences on or after 1 January 2021. Self-managed funds are always treated as having received income from the relevant activity of fund management, so the gross income test does not apply.
There are financial penalties in the case of failure to meet the economic substance test. In the first financial period up to 10,000 British pounds sterling (GBP), in the second period up to GBP 100,000. After the first penalty, the Comptroller may provide the Minister for Treasury and Resources with a report on the company, and the Minister may apply to the court for an order of winding up. There is provision for appeal against penalty determinations.
The requirements for companies with regards to the economic substance test dictate that they must be directed and managed in Jersey, undertake their core income generating activities (CIGA) in Jersey, and have adequate employees, expenditure, and physical assets in Jersey.
On 29 June 2021, a law extending Jersey's economic substance regime to partnerships was passed. The economic substance requirements will apply to a Jersey 'resident partnership' undertaking a 'relevant activity' unless it is exempt.
The exemptions are detailed as follows:
- 'Domestic exemption': These are partnerships with activities only within Jersey that are also not part of a multinational group
- 'Individual exemption': These are partnerships with only Jersey tax resident partners already subject to tax in Jersey
- 'Collective investment funds'
- 'Place of effective management (POEM) outside of Jersey': Those partnerships with a POEM in a qualifying jurisdiction (i.e. with a tax rate higher than 10% for a company or individual) or if the partnership is required to comply with a similar economic substance test in that jurisdiction.
Partnerships in existence before 1 July 2021 are in scope of the law for accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2022. Partnerships formed on or after 1 July 2021 are in scope from the date of formation.
The law is broadly aligned with the company economic substance regime, summarised above, although there are points of divergence particularly relating to exemptions and sanctions for failing the economic substance test.