By Sean O’Flaherty, Director of local accountancy firm Rosscot and Gary Todd, Tax Director.
High Net Worth individuals are not simply buying their way into Jersey, but are contributing to our economy, our businesses and our local community.
It’s no secret that Jersey has been officially ranked as a top British offshore destination for wealthy people to reside in and has welcomed a number of High Net Worth (HNW) individuals who pay a minimum of £125,000 per year in Income Tax. But only a limited number of High Value Residency consents are granted and there has to be benefits for Jersey as well as the individual or company and their businesses.
Why do we want to attract people to Jersey?
Attracting HNW’s is beneficial for Jersey’s economy, not only from a tax perspective, but also a business perspective. Wealthy individuals coming to the Island often have a wealth of experience and are passionate about mentoring and guiding other companies. This is valuable for raising the profile of local businesses and really contributing to their success.
At Rosscot, we have assisted numerous individuals, their families and businesses that have decided to move to Jersey. We help them to put together their application and, if they are relocating with their business, we help to prepare the business plan and supporting documentation. We also facilitate the submission of the application form, company formation/registration documents, requests for essential employees, and any other supporting documents, to Jersey’s Population Office for assessment.
But it’s not all about business and finance: part of the process involves looking at how people moving to Jersey will benefit Island life. If people are keen to move to Jersey, they are usually eager to get involved with the local community. Some of our clients are interested in sports and sponsor local clubs. Other clients have channeled their skills and interests into helping local charities and non-profit organisations. Philanthropy is often very important to our clients. At Rosscot, we work with them to set out these contributions within their application and establish a system that will benefit the Island. Rosscot also assists any businesses relocating to Jersey to implement a Corporate Social Responsibility policy.
Most HNW’s who move to Jersey want to stay for the long term. There is very little turnover of high value residents. But if someone does reconsider their move to Jersey, it can come down to the difficulty posed on spouses and families. People are provided with extensive details about our tax regime but are not prepared with what it is like to live in Jersey. It may be safe, with beautiful countryside and beaches, but it can be isolating for anyone who is not used to living on a nine by five island. At Rosscot we think it is crucial to implement a structure that allows people to have a look around the Island and find out what it is like to live here before they commit to relocating. We take clients to meet Locate Jersey and offer all kinds of advice which may be required by clients, their families and businesses in connection with their move to Jersey.
We also have close relationships with estate agents to ensure HNW’s are happy with the properties available in Jersey. If someone owns a large estate in the UK, it can be difficult to find an equivalent property in Jersey. Partly because Jersey is limited for space and property prices are high. Preparing people with what Jersey has to offer is important to avoid any surprises and to ensure that the High Net Worth individuals are signing up for a life in Jersey and not just an appealing tax regime.
In the last year Jersey has seen a significant increase in interest in relocating and many successful applications have been made for high value resident status, with a number of these bringing their businesses with them. Figures for the year suggest that there are potentially 18 wealthy newcomers who have relocated to Jersey. This means that at least another £2.25 million will be contributed in tax to the States of Jersey, which will help to address the budgetary deficits that the Island is facing. We have also seen people relocate from lower tax jurisdictions and are actually increasing their tax contribution to enjoy island life. Jersey is undoubtedly a desirable place to live and do business and word is spreading that the Island is well and truly open for business.