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Business bodies welcome double tax talks with UK

REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Gibraltar’s business, financial and legal institutions have welcomed the upcoming negotiations on a double taxation agreement between the Gibraltarian and UK Governments.
Reacting to news that the two governments aim to sign such a deal within a matter of months, the Gibraltar Finance Centre Council, the Chamber of Commerce and law firm Isolas all backed the prospect highlighting the “clarity” it will bring for businesses.
This follows an announcement on Monday by Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the UK Treasury.
The bespoke tax agreement will promote trade and investment, and help tackle tax avoidance.
In a statement the GFCC said that in a post Brexit world where transparency and exchange of tax information is “paramount”, building a comprehensive network of Double Taxation Agreements is “essential”.
“The importance to the finance centre of having a DTA with the UK cannot be underestimated,” the Council added.
“This will enhance and consolidate our international standing as a serious, reputable and transparent jurisdiction in which to do business.”
According to the GFCC, the deal will also place Gibraltar on a solid footing to seek further DTAs with other jurisdictions.
“As an international finance centre, it is crucial for Gibraltar to develop our DTA network as much as possible,” the statement read.
Highlighting the key practical effects of the DTA, the council said it will facilitate and encourage business between Gibraltar and the UK.
It will provide certainty to persons working, and companies doing business, in each other’s jurisdictions in that they will not be taxed twice.
It protects UK and Gibraltar taxpayers against double taxation which will support the flow of international trade and investment between our jurisdictions.
“The DTA can only serve to help develop the financial services industry in Gibraltar and support our economy,” the council said.
The Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce also welcomed the double taxation agreement announcement.
The Chamber said it has lobbied for a number of years to have a double taxation agreement with the UK, insisting it will give certainty for companies and improved standing for Gibraltar as a finance centre.
“We look forward to considering specific terms when these are available,” the business organisation said.
The Chamber also welcomed the presence of Mr Jenrick on the Rock.
“Mr Jenrick’s presence in Gibraltar highlights the UK Government’s support for Gibraltar and the strong working relationship which the Gibraltar Government has with senior UK government officials.”
Gibraltar’s oldest law firm, ISOLAS, also welcomed the upcoming negotiations.
“The announcement brings greater clarity for businesses operating in Gibraltar as bilateral taxation agreements remove barriers to international trade and investment and provide a clear framework for taxing businesses that trade between jurisdictions,” the firm said in a statement.  
“The deal will also position Gibraltar’s offering on a level playing field with competing jurisdictions that currently already have double taxation agreements with the UK.”
 “The agreement highlights Gibraltar’s commitments to the international standards of tax transparency and its reputation as a robust and reputable financial centre.”
Christian Hernandez, Partner at ISOLAS, said: “The negotiations, expected to be finalised within months, are great news for Gibraltar, and everyone who does business with our jurisdiction. It will bring enhanced certainty on the future economic relationship with the UK for ISOLAS’s current and prospective clients.”
“The agreement will further cement Gibraltar as being one of the best places in the world to do business, and encourage more businesses to establish a base in the territory.”