Overseas Chambers of Peter Harris

Maison de la Boucterie
Rue de la Boucterie
Saint Saviour
Jersey, JE2 7ZW

Our Experience

Our experience in International and European taxation is based upon a fundamental training in European, French, Jersey, Channel Islands and British taxation and law, obtained at a time when the foundations of current thinking in these areas were being defined, and subsequently implemented and developed;

The practice covers corporate, partnership, public and private fund and insurance work in additionto assiting Family Offices managing significant fortunes administered out of the Channel Islands;

Peter's expertise in pure applied law and the real use of conflict and Private International Law principles has led to significant changes in the perception of how to manage successions under the EU Succession Regulation n° 650/2012. His proposals have been taken up at the European level by the Centre Notarial de Droit Européen.

In particular, he has managed to define a method whereby French forced heirship rules over French property can be disapplied in successions between the Channel Islands and or the United Kingdom and France. This has opened up a signifcant array of possible choices in the case of first and second unions where the rights of the surviving spouse need protection, and also in first union/marriage situations where the constitution of a usufruit needs to be distinguished from a deemed settlement under s. 43 ITA 1984;

Peter's work in defining what traust are and what trusts are not caught by the French 2011 legislation is also well known.  He has managed to have several trusts wrongly declared as such removed from the Register and the Trustess discharged from any further declarative responsibilty in France. Again, a deployment of fundamental definitions of law against aggressive anti-avoidance tax deeming provisions inadequately considered and badly implemented;

Peter's experience in Inheritance Tax, droits de mutation gratuits (donation et succession) and Wealth Tax between the United Kingdom and France is well documented, as is his grasp of the different principles and concepts used in both jurisdictions;

Our ability to redeem, restore and modernise historic and existing structures at risk of failure owing to legislative regulatory or fiscal changes is a valued contribution to professionals and clients alike;

Peter has been working in the area of the French 3% annual tax on immovable property holding entities and wealth tax (impôt sur les grandes fortunes IGF) since their inception, and the re-initialisation as impôt de solidarité sur la fortune (ISF);

In addition, he is able to overcome the compliance and declaratory issues raised by article 164C CGI, the three times annual rental value income tax assessment on non-residents owning or renting French properties, by reference to the French regulatory implementation of the Tax declaration and its compatibility with EU principles. His position on this issue has been confirmed by a recent decision of the French Conseil d'Etat.

He has been successful in having HMRC admit that their treatment of French usufruits as interests in possession over settled property in their April 2013 Newsletter was wrong. He is one of the few practitioners in a position to ensure that, for example, a surviving spouse's option for a French usufruit over a French property can still obtain a favourable tax outcome in both jurisdictions. A UK IHT Credit for deferred French succession duty until the death of the surviving spouse being but one objective.

Our case list, confidential,  shows a wide experience in isolating the real issues and resolving the defined problems to the client's advantage;

Our informal assistance to the Jersey authorities in the French TIEA negotiations has enabled foresight and the avoidance of pitfalls in the area of a foreign administrations' political misqualification and partial understanding of Jersey legal structures: trusts in particular. Peter's assistance to Jersey Finance in its hosting of French visting Parliamentary Commissions enabled a precise technical position on certain issues to be given.

The effects of Peter's background interventions addressed to the French DGFIP prior to the Jersey Authorities being summoned to justify themselves in relation to the illegality of the French attempt to blacklist the Island in 2013, subsequently  revoked in inelegant haste in 2014, have yet to be measured.  Suffice it to say that his initial report on the constitutional position of Jersey in relation to the European Communites as French honorary consul in 1993 had been ignored by the French Ministre des affaires étrangères in 1993, and conveniently misslaid, so as to enable an unlawful blacklisting decree to be signed in 2012, and a deliberatly incorrect Report to be prepared under M Alain Cousin's signature concerning the TIEA signed in 2011. De se permettre de dire à sa page 8 que Jersey ne fait pas partie de l'Union Européen lorsque le Commissaire Prodi a affirmé le contraire  en 2003 relève de l'incompétence pure. Perhaps someone other than an insurance salesman might have been asked to prepare it objectively rather than relying upon civil servants attempting to distort internatonal treaty relationships.

The only Overseas Revenue Bar Chambers specialising in "Onshore" and Offshore" tax and legal advice in relation to the United Kingdom, its dependencies, and France.