Jersey's finance industry is facing an upheaval;
some might say a serious challenge.
The issue concerns many wealthy people who
live in the UK
but are not "domiciled" there. They have expensive homes in the UK and enviable lifestyles there - but they are,
to use outdated words, "foreigners", "non-natives",
"aliens" with regard to the UK. They are "domiciled"
- the word means that their home (from the Latin domus meaning house) is
elsewhere. They intend one day to return "home", "home"
being, generally, the country where they were born - outside the UK.
The UK Government has, for a very long
time, recognised that folk like this who are not looking to be permanently
"domiciled" in the UK
should be given especially favourable tax treatment. In fact, the UK has decided that that it would only tax that
part of their income that they actually bring into the UK. So these
folk hold their assets, inter alia, in Jersey banks and through Jersey investment managers. Bank interest or dividends
then do not suffer UK tax
(or Jersey tax because such folk are not resident in Jersey).
And the UK does not charge
any Capital Gains taxes on their homes in the UK
as long as those are ownedby trusts in Jersey.
This UK April Budget will alter this: a
real business challenge for Jersey's finance
Resident but not domiciled? Living in one
country but the home they look towards is in another? That's rather like the
Christian viewpoint. No country on earth is the Christian's real home.
Such folk (both the UN non-doms and
Christians) can rightly say: my wealth is elsewhere; I am a stranger here; my
home and real assets are in a better country; I only need a little here in this
country in which I temporarily reside; my real wealth is being built
elsewhere; I will go there to end my
And that's precisely the way that certain
folk thought and lived (see above) 4000 years ago: "For people who
speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland". But those
BC people were not in a foreign country for tax reasons. The letter to the Hebrew
Christians (see above) goes on to say that they actually did not want to return
to an earthly homeland: "If they had been thinking of that land from
which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to
"But as it is, they desire a better
country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called
their God, for he has prepared for them a city."
But these people, the BC 'they', were
ancient Israelites. What about the 1st Century AD Christians? A few sentences
later in this circular letter to the AD them, the writer brings these into the
picture: ".....and all these [the BC folk], though commended for
their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided
something better for us [the AD folk], that apart
from us they should not be made perfect."
And that still applies - the BC people who
lived by confident trust in Almighty God have seen and greeted from afar their
final homeland, as promised, but they are waiting for Christians to join them.
Jersey Christians, resident in Jersey (and paying Jersey Income Tax in full), are not
domiciled here. They are domiciled in a better country, a heavenly one, a city
prepared by God - as promised for four millennia.