Guernsey tax changes may reinstate hundreds of suspended QROPS

Published:  11 Dec at 6 PM
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More than 300 Guernsey pension plans which lost QROPS status when HM Revenue and Custom changed the tax laws may soon be back in business.

The suspended Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions lost their status as a result of offering different tax incentives to expats who were non-resident. The State of Guernsey is now gearing up to approve changes in the Channel Islands tax regime which will allow an application to be made for reinstatement pf the suspended QROPS.

The tax changes proposed will bring QROPS tax incentives into line with those applied to pensions for Channel Island residents, with the government hoping it will be enough to convince HMRC. Prior to the suspensions, Guernsey was the offshore financial centre of choice for expat retirees and international workers looking to transfer their pensions.

Since the suspension took place, reducing the number of QROPS available from 301 to just three, a number of new, compliant schemes have met the criteria, giving a total of 56 currently active QROPS. HMRC’s rule changes also hit QROPS in New Zealand and the Isle of Man as well as plans for Jersey QROPS offerings.

The majority of the affected schemes were third party QROPS, aimed at expats and workers living in one country, but basing their QROPS in another. Gibraltar QROPs were suspended by the local providers over similar issues, but have since achieved compliance due to changes in tax law in the tiny country.
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