Jersey to Consider Revision to its Charity Law
Jersey is better known as an international finance centre than for its philanthropic activities despite a very strong charitable culture which has been well established for many years. Many readers may be unaware of Durrell, the Boots family, Howard Davies or more recently the activities of the recently knighted Sir David Kirch. It’s time for Jersey’s Philanthropic sector to take a more prominent role!
Jersey has drafted new charity laws which have been presented to the states assembly for discussion. The framework within which charities currently operate in Jersey can arguably be considered as outdated, insufficient in parts and in need of improvement. Indeed the current definition of “charity” as set out in 1961 Income Tax Law is drawn from the 1601 Statute of Elizabeth and is interpreted to exclude major areas of bona fide charitable activity, for example community sporting activity.
That definition also does not make the delivery of public benefit a requirement for all charities, thus a charity can operate in a field which is considered charitable but potentially not benefit the wider public.
In addition, there is currently no regulatory body specifically established to oversee the establishment and activities of charities, which by the nature of work they undertake and position they hold in the community, receive public trust and other benefits such as tax exemptions.
A comprehensive consultation and review process has been conducted leading to draft legislation being proposed full details of which are available at the following link http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyPropositions/2014/P.108-2014.pdf
With Jersey’s internationally acknowledged expertise in trusts, the development of a modern law governing charities will undoubtedly provide greater opportunities for Jersey as a centre of Philanthropic activities.