Jersey’s foreign minister, senator Philip Bailhache, has arranged to speak to the French ambassador and senior government representatives are speaking to the French finance ministry, the Jersey Evening Post has reported.
Senior ministers have also been in touch with the Ministry of Justice in London, which is responsible for the Jersey relationship with the UK, to discuss the blacklisting.
The French Government added Jersey, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands to its list of ‘uncooperative’ tax jurisdictions according to an entry on France’s gazette for official decisions dated August 21.
Companies operating out of countries on the blacklist have to pay higher tax rates in France. It has been reported that being on the list triggers the application of 75% withholding taxes on French source flows to those territories, as well as the strengthening of anti-abuse mechanisms, which may include extra paperwork.
While the entry gave no reason for the decision, Geoff Cook, chief executive of Jersey Finance said in a response statement that it was “a bilateral issue relating to some outstanding tax information requests made by the French authorities, through the agreement Jersey signed with France in 2009".
In July this year, Jersey officials called attention to a Capital Economics report that highlighted how Jersey is responsible for inward investment of almost £500bn into the UK, and supports around 180,000 British jobs.
This was in response to the already greater scrutiny of the relationship between the UK and other major developed economies and offshore and low-tax financial centres – such as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands.