Legal Framework and Formation Rules
BVI Trusts are formed under the Trust Ordinance 1961 (based on the English Trustee Act 1925), as updated and amended by the Trustee Amendment Act 1993, and the subsequent Trustee Amendment Act, 2003. Since the 1993 Act, there is no requirement for registration of trusts in the BVI, and there is no public disclosure of information regarding trusts. Trust duty is payable on each trust instrument, which is achieved by buying and affixing stamps, creating no record.
BVI trusts are exempt from all taxation provided that there is no resident beneficiary and no BVI assets.
Due to the Amendment Act, the regime for trusts in the BVI is very flexible. The following are some of the main features of BVI trust law:
the proper law of a trust can be specified by the trust instrument; in the absence of a specified jurisdiction, a trust will be under BVI legislation if the trustee or the trust administration is situated in the BVI;
trusts can migrate into and out of the BVI; but outwards migration is only possible if the 'receiving' jurisdiction recognizes the validity of the trust;
purpose trusts are permitted in perpetuity and must have at least one BVI trustee (resident professional or equivalent);
the perpetuity period can be set at 100 years, but 'lives in being' is still possible;
'wait and see' provisions are included as standard;
'protectors' are explicitly permitted, and their powers are clearly defined;
forced heirship provisions are excluded;
trustees may be given wide discretionary investment powers.
The BVI's trust regime was substantially updated in 2004 with the following three pieces of legislation. In addition, new laws on private trust companies came into force on January 1, 2007.
British Virgin Islands News
BVI To Review Taxes And Fees Monday 15/3/2010British Virgin Islands Prime Minister, Ralph O’Neal has said that the territory
will run a budget surplus during 2010, although the government still intends to review indirect taxes and fees on financial services.