The island of Guernsey is a British Crown Dependency located within sight of the Normandy coast of France and just a 40 minute flight from London. It has been self-governing for more than 800 years. It is a low-tax jurisdiction that is within the open borders Common Travel Area of Britain and Ireland.
It has considerable natural beauty, is English-speaking and welcomes people who wish to set up business or home on the island.
For EU passport holders relocation to Guernsey is very straightforward thanks to the Open Market. For those who are not EU passport holders, one of two Immigration Programmes is likely to offer the most direct route to residency in Guernsey.
Part of Guernsey’s government Locate Guernsey is keen to provide free advice to potential relocators, guide them through the process of relocation, introduce them to helpful colleagues in Guernsey’s government and in Guernsey’s business community.
A friendly tax environment
• No inheritance, estate or gifts taxes
• No wealth tax
• No capital gains tax
• No VAT or sales taxes
• No corporation tax for most companies
• Individual rate of income tax at 20%
In addition to the flat 20% income tax rate, tax caps are available meaning that the maximum annual tax liability can be capped.
For an individual “solely or principally resident” in Guernsey who has only non-Guernsey source income the cap is currently £110,000. For an individual who has both Guernsey and non-Guernsey source income (with the exception of income from Guernsey property) the cap is set at £220,000. From 2018, newly arrived tax residents can benefit from a lower tax cap of £50,000 for their first four years living in Guernsey, subject to certain conditions.
Individuals who are “resident only” are subject to income tax in Guernsey on their worldwide income after relevant personal allowances and deductions at the rate of 20%. They can elect to pay the standard charge, which is £30,000 which covers any tax due on their overseas income and can be offset against any tax due on any local Guernsey income.
For more information about tax in Guernsey please see the following pdf: Locate Guernsey – Tax in Guernsey – An Introduction
Locate Guernsey will helpfully introduce potential relocators to the Income Tax Department. Any more complex questions should be directed to one’s personal tax advisors.
Guernsey has a two-tier property structure that applies to both rental and sales properties:
Open Market properties are for any families, businesses and individuals arriving from the UK or overseas.
Approximately 7% of Guernsey’s properties, around 1,600, are on Guernsey’s Open Market Register. They can be found all across the Island. There is a premium on price, however, the Open Market provides a route to living in Guernsey which is extremely quick and free of bureaucracy.
Local Market properties make up the majority of Guernsey properties and are available for local residents and employment permit holders.
Locate Guernsey can happily explain the Population Management scheme to any interested parties.
Individuals who do not hold EU passports need not worry. The following two options are available to help them achieve ‘leave to remain’ in Guernsey.
Who is this for? Individuals who wish to live in the Bailiwick of Guernsey and are able to secure residency through making an investment into the Guernsey economy.
How does it work? The applicant must be able to show they have at least £1m in their name in a bank account and they must be prepared to invest no less than £750,000 in a way that is of ‘benefit to the Bailiwick of Guernsey’. (The ‘Bailiwick’ are the islands of Guernsey, Herm, Alderney and Sark). Locate Guernsey can advise what options are available to potential investors.
Who is this for? Individuals who wish to live in the Bailiwick of Guernsey and intend to take an active role in the running of a business in Guernsey.
How does it work? The applicant must be able to show they have at least £200,000 in their name in a bank account and which they must be prepared to invest into an existing Guernsey business. Creating a new Guernsey business, again with a minimum £200,000, is also acceptable.
This article covers off a wide range of topics but only scratches the surface on each one. The team at Locate Guernsey can provide more information on all aspects discussed and would be delighted to answer any questions.
Please contact Andrew Carey, Head of Locate Guernsey, on 07911 719082 or Andrew@locateguernsey.com