Jersey has signed a tax information exchange agreement with France, as part of the island’s ongoing commitment that began with its first TIEA, signed with the US in 2002. Chief Minister Senator Terry Le Sueur signed the TIEA with the French Minister of Finance, Christine Lagarde.

Senator Le Sueur said the agreements to co-operate over tax matters highlight the mutual respect between jurisdictions. *”Our continuing programme of signing agreements with jurisdictions across the globe demonstrates our willingness to comply with international standards of financial regulation, anti-money laundering, and combating the financing of terrorism.”*

In a released statement, the French Economy Ministry said, *”This agreement to exchange information on fiscal matters will be an effective instrument in the fight against international fraud and tax evasion, a concern which the economic and financial crisis have shown can no longer be ignored.”*

The TIEA reportedly will come into force when both parties have completed their domestic procedures, with indications that once implemented Jersey will be treated by France as a territory which has signed an administrative assistance agreement to fight tax fraud and evasion.Senator Le Sueur points out that, *”Last year the OECD Secretary General referred to the fact that Jersey had signed a number of Tax Information Exchange Agreements, and called for clear political recognition for those offshore financial centres that have made this kind of progress. We hope to see this reflected in the outcome of the G20 Summit in London on 2 April and that there will greater pressure put on those countries, including some OECD members, who have not yet shared Jersey’s commitment to transparency and co-operation.”*

Also announced is that Jersey is close to signing a TIEA with Ireland and negotiations are well-advanced with Australia and New Zealand. Discussions are also underway with Spain and Italy, with Jersey confirming that it is more than willing to extend such agreements to all other jurisdictions, including OECD countries, when they are ready to engage.

Already, Jersey has signed agreements with the US (2002); the Netherlands (2007); the seven Nordic countries (Denmark, the Faroes, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in 2008); Germany (2008); and the UK (2009).

Jurisdictions around the world have signed up to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s standards on information exchange relating to tax in recent weeks. Today, the OECD announced that Macau, the special administrative region of China, has moved to accept its exchange of information agreements for tax purposes. According to a statement from the OECD, China proposes to modify its domestic legislation before the end of 2009 to enable it to exchange bank information on request with other jurisdictions.