Reforming the tax systems of two jurisdictions.

BU taxation law and policy research by Richard Teather has had considerable impacts internationally.

Particularly significant research themes with wide reaching impacts include: The interaction between European Union (EU) law and offshore finance centres; the role of international centres in global business; and difficult areas of VAT.

Specifically Teather has examined how inappropriate taxes can cause serious problems such capital flight to non-EU countries, reduced investment in Europe, stifling of competition and damage to the economy.

Teather’s study of VAT demonstrated the problems a poorly designed VAT system can have on the commercial property market, the increasing influence of European Union law on VAT and the complexities of VAT anti-avoidance laws.


The States of Jersey needed to achieve the required EU compliance and create a more modern, sustainable tax system to provide essential revenues for public services on the Island. They approached Teather in 2007 to act as their Expert Adviser to the Scrutiny Panel of the States Assembly for their major reform of the Jersey tax system.

Reforms informed by Teather’s research include introducing a VAT-equivalent tax (known as GST); a radical reform of Jersey’s corporate income tax; and a proposed, but not yet enacted, system for taxing commercial property on Jersey.

Turks and Caicos Islands

In 2012 the UK government and its appointed Turks and Caicos Islands Governor proposed the introduction of VAT for the TCI. The TCI Independent Business Council (‘TCIBC’) commissioned an independent report from Teather into the potential impact of VAT on the TCI economy, with a view to helping local business, government officials and people understand the tax issues.

The report entitled VAT and the TCI – an independent appraisal but more widely known as The Teather Report, was published in February 2013

Teather concluded that VAT was unsuitable for the TCI given its unique economy, and that the proposed implementation date was too soon for the government or businesses to prepare adequately.

By the end of the month the UK government and the Turks and Caicos Island Governor had agreed to cancel the implementation of VAT, as recommended by Teather.


  • Teather, R., “The Benefits of Tax Competition”, Hobart Paper 153, Institute of Economic Affairs, London, Dec. 2005 (pp165) ISBN 0 255 36569-1.
  • Teather, R.,“The Politics of EU Tax Harmonisation”, Occasional Paper 25, Friedrich-Naumann Foundation, Berlin, Feb. 2006 (pp27).
  • Teather, R. “Harmful Tax Competition?” Economic Affairs, iea, London, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 58-63 [2002]. 
  • Teather, R., “Financial value added – an analysis of the TCA system for extending VAT to the insurance business” Journal of European Financial Services, Warsaw, vol.9, pp.13-24. 2002.
  • Teather, R., “Reverse Premiums and VAT – return to the beginning” British Tax Review, Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2004, pp. 37-45.
  • Teather, R., “VAT anti-avoidance – The European Character” 15th annual Tax Research Network Conference, Edinburgh University, September 2005.