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Offshore Trusts Report: British Virgin Islands

New Private Trust Company Regulations

Substantive private trust company legislation came into force in January 2007 and the enactment of subsidiary regulations specifying which companies will be exempt followed soon afterwards.

Under the legislation, certain private trust companies may be exempted from licensing requirements and other provisions of the Banks and Trust Companies Act, under procedures implemented by the Financial Services Commission. Unremunerated BVI private trust companies which do not offer their services to the general public will be able to apply for these exemptions, according to the Commission.

"These regulatory changes will enhance the BVI’s attractiveness as a jurisdiction for the incorporation and use of private trust companies," Christopher McKenzie, Partner and head of Walkers’ private client department in the BVI, stated, adding: "These developments are extremely positive news for estate planners and will promote more structures that use both a trust governed by BVI law and a BVI private trust company as trustee by striking the right balance between the level of regulation versus the level of exemption.”

Private trust companies enable family-controlled structures to be established, offer trustees the benefits of limited liability and perpetual existence which are usually the features of corporate vehicles, and can lessen the tax burden by moving the liability from the settlor to the trust company.

The BVI's new trusts legislation has opened up wider markets for the BVI trust, in which clients are not necessarily interested so much just in tax avoidance, but also in the efficient management of wealth in a more general sense.

The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas Barbados Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Cook Islands Cyprus Gibraltar Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey Liechtenstein Madeira Malta Mauritius Monaco Nevis New Zealand Panama Seychelles Turks & Caicos Vanuatu


British Virgin Islands News

BVI To Review Taxes And Fees
Monday 15/3/2010
British 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.

Caribbean Explores Fiscal Cooperation
Tuesday 9/3/2010
Ahead of the World Bank meeting, to be held on March 11-12, where CARICOM Finance Ministers will meet to discuss challenges that the region faces, CARICOM Secretary General, Edwin Carrington said it was vital for Caribbean economies to increase economic cooperation and remove fiscal barriers, for the prosperity of the region going forward.

China Clarifies Tax Treatment Of Corporate Income Earned Abroad
Wednesday 27/1/2010
The Chinese Ministry of Finance, acting through the State Administration of Taxation, has issued a Circular to clarify corporate income tax provisions with regard to income earned abroad.

OECD Reports On Its Progress With International Tax Standards
Wednesday 20/1/2010
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the focus of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information is now shifting – from commitments and agreements to achieving an effective implementation of the standards.

UK's Wealthy Head For Sunnier Climes As Tax Storm Brews
Wednesday 16/12/2009
New research would appear to confirm that, while not quite the 'exodus' popularly characterized in the press, there is nevertheless a steady stream of wealthy financiers, entrepreneurs and bankers leaving Britain as a result of the Labour government's recent tax increases.

BVI Signs TIEAs With China And Ireland
Wednesday 9/12/2009
The government of the British Virgin Islands took a further step on December 7 to conclude Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development model Tax Information Exchange Agreements, signing texts with Ireland and China.

OECS States Agree Upon Draft Outline For New Treaty
Wednesday 25/11/2009
The new Treaty of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States will be signed in the St. Kitts capital, Basseterre on December 29.

Crown Dependencies Welcome Foot Report Findings
Monday 2/11/2009
The British Crown Dependencies have welcomed the findings of the UK government's review of the dependencies, published on October 29, which recognizes their economic benefit to the United Kingdom, and efforts to achieve compliance with international standards.

BVI Makes OECD White List
Monday 17/8/2009
The British Virgin Islands has signed its 12th Tax Information Exchange Agreement after concluding an agreement with New Zealand, meaning that the jurisdiction is now considered to be "substantially" in compliance with the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development's tax snoopers' standard.

BVI Signs OECD Model Agreements With Nordic States
Wednesday 20/5/2009
The British Virgin Islands government announced this week the signing of bilateral tax information exchange agreements with the six Nordic countries, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at the Icelandic Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 18.