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Introduction: The New Age of Transparency

By mid-2009, evidence was emerging that the trust and wealth management industries were adopting to the new age of transparency instigated by the OECD countries in response to the global financial metldown and subsequent economic crisis. Participants in a survey conducted by the Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners agreed that three key trends would develop in the industry over the course of the coming years.

These include:

  • The end of secrecy will mean families will seek out advisors and trustees who can master global tax advice. Economic conditions will mean tax competition between countries will increase and the distinction between offshore and onshore will disappear;

  • The industry will modernise its practices to attract a wider audience; increasing its market share through adopting best practices in investment management and enhancing compliance processes to reduce risk;

  • Products and services will continue to be combined together to create new revenue opportunities for wealth structuring professionals. Trust and Estate Planning practitioners will have to be increasingly innovative to expand the number of strategies in its ‘toolbox’ to create bespoke solutions in higher value structures.

Shortly after the results of this survey were published, STEP released figures which indicated that sentiment was improving amongst practitioners, with 41% of the organization's members predicting that trust and estate business would "improve" or "significantly improve" over the year ahead. This was almost double the number that held this view earlier in the year.

STEP Chief Executive David Harvey said: “The move to positivity among STEP members is a great indicator that, despite the economic downturn and the regulatory environment providing new challenges for trust and estate practitioners, the industry is looking to the future with renewed confidence. Our members are looking to embrace the opportunities afforded by the needs of international families to plan and to be compliant on an increasingly global, rather than national, basis."

   

The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

New Zealand

New Zealand: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
New Zealand: Review of the Law of Trusts
New Zealand: Taxation of Trusts

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

 


Offshore Trusts News

Australia Legislates For Low Value Import GST Reforms Monday 20/2/2017 The Australian Government has introduced legislation to extend the goods and services tax to low value imports from July 1, 2017.

IRS Stops ACA Individual Mandate Enforcement Monday 20/2/2017 The US Internal Revenue Service has decided to continue to allow individual tax returns in the current filing season even if the taxpayer has not indicated their health insurance coverage status.

IRS Warns Of Tax Software Provider Impersonators Monday 20/2/2017 The Security Summit – a collaboration between the US Internal Revenue Service, tax preparation and software firms, and state tax administrators – has warned tax professionals to be alert to a new phishing email scam where fraudsters impersonate software providers.

Seychelles Again Delays Individual Income Tax Changes Friday 17/2/2017 In his State of the Nation Address on February 14, Seychelles' President Danny Faure announced that the implementation of a progressive personal income tax regime will be delayed to January 1, 2018.

UK VAT Flat Rate Scheme Changes Too Far-reaching, Warn Tax Experts Friday 17/2/2017 HM Revenue and Customs's new measure to crackdown on abuse of a VAT simplification scheme for small businesses may be ineffective and have unwelcome consequences for tax-compliant businesses, the Chartered Institute of Taxation has said.

Spanish Penalties On Overseas Undeclared Assets Challenged Thursday 16/2/2017 The European Commission has called on Spain to lower the penalties it applies to taxpayers who fail to report assets held abroad.

US Retailers Talk Tax Reform With Trump Thursday 16/2/2017 The Retail Industry Leaders Association and CEOs of several large US retail companies met President Donald Trump on February 15 to discuss US tax reform, and to express their opposition to the proposal for border adjustability.

Hong Kong To Receive SME Tax Cuts Under New Chief Executive Tuesday 14/2/2017 The two leading contenders in the 2017 Hong Kong Chief Executive election scheduled for March 26 have both proposed tax policies favoring the city's small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Australian Accountants Urge Tax Burden Shift Tuesday 14/2/2017 Australia desperately needs large scale tax reform and should aim to rebalance its tax mix, the Institute of Public Accountants has argued.

SARS Issues Revised Capital Gains Tax Guides Monday 13/2/2017 The South African Revenue Service has issued revised capital gains tax guides that provide a basic introduction to the tax for companies and individuals for the 2017 year of assessment, which covers the period from March 1, 2016, to February 28, 2017.