Charity and Philanthropy

Using a Jersey trust to conduct charitable and philanthropic activity.

High net worth families and corporates who have amassed wealth from their international businesses and other activities are increasingly seeking to create offshore entities to secure charitable and philanthropic objectives.


Jersey law allows for the creation of various charitable structures including charitable trusts.

Under Jersey law, any trust established among other things for:

  • The advancement of education;
  • The relief of poverty;
  • The furtherance of religion;

is exempt from Jersey tax.

There is currently no register of charities in Jersey.  The policy in Jersey is that regulation of professional trust services under the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998 provides sufficient safeguards.  It follows that regulation applies to the service providers to Jersey - based charitable trusts rather than directly to the charities themselves.  There is ongoing discussion about introducing a Charities Commission in Jersey.

Under Jersey law a charity must exist for exclusively charitable purposes. There is no statutory definition in Jersey of charitable purposes, but Jersey case law confirms that the English common law authorities on the definition of charities apply.  Accordingly the law of charity in Jersey is still based on the Preamble to the English Statute of Elizabeth I of 1601 and the principles laid down by Lord Macnaughton in Pemsol's case.

Consequently the broad heads of charity are

  • the relief of aged, impotent and poor people;
  • the advancement of education;
  • the advancement of religion;
  • other purposes beneficial to the community not falling under any of the preceding headings.

 

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