Brexit, BEPS and a Bag full of Money…

by Alan Jackson

With a £22.1m surplus on hand and solid confirmation that we are now placed among the lowest Tax Jurisdictions in the World, there is plenty to be optimistic about for local businesses. While, for my part, I discourage the States from considering an increase to personal tax allowances and instead encourage them to make investment funds available to ALL sectors of our economy (not everyone works in finance….), they are to be congratulated for dealing, in general terms, with our structural deficit.

That is not to say that we are out of the woods! Amongst others, we still have a huge problem to address as a result of our ageing population to which the latest States Economic Development Strategy pays lip service at best.

However, challenges aside, prospects for those businesses that are positioning themselves to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Brexit, be it hard or soft, are significant. For example, the States continue to seek new Free Trade Agreement’s (FTA’s) that will include goods and services, unlike protocol three which provided only for the free trade in goods. But new FTA’s are not the only opportunities post Brexit and companies can still begin to reposition themselves now.

Also, the States are to be congratulated for positively engaging with the OECD on BEPS (Base Erosion & Profit Shifting). While not immediately obvious to many business owners, Guernsey being a BEPS compliant Jurisdiction, opens up significant growth, diversification and investment opportunities for local business across the manufacturing, retail, construction and financial service sectors to name but a few.

So while the sun shines, business owners might want to take a little time out, look at what they do, and consider which opportunity they might want to explore because like buses, they all seem to have come at once!