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Offshore Trusts Report: British Virgin Islands

The Trustee (Amendment) Act, 2003

This Act was introduced with a view to making BVI trusts significantly more attractive in the commercial context, including a new section (which will only apply if there is a statement to this effect in the trust instrument) which enables trustees to create various forms of charges of trust assets in favour of creditors. The legislation made a substantial number of other amendments to the Trustee Act, including the following:

  • The Act repeals section 83 of the Trustee Act and replaces it with a new set of conflict of laws rules relating to trusts. The new section contains robust, comprehensive and carefully crafted provisions protecting BVI trusts (and dispositions to their trustees) against “forced heirship” claims, which also prevent foreign judgments based on such forced heirship claims from being recognised or enforced in the Territory.

  • The BVI’s purpose trusts legislation has been comprehensively overhauled in the light of amendments which have been made to other offshore jurisdictions’ legislation, various commentaries which have been written by experts and some issues which have arisen in practice since this legislation was originally introduced.

  • Section 92 of the Trustee Act, which deals with the payment of trust duty has been replaced by a comprehensive new section which makes it clear what documents are subject to trust duty and how this must be paid.

  • Trusts which are exclusively charitable are now exempted from trust duty; but the section included a modest increase in duty from $50 to $100.

  • The Act includes a number of further sections dealing with charities, variation of trusts, illusory appointments, the power to compromise claims, flee clauses and the jurisdiction of the BVI’s courts.

The Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2003 abolishes the requirement that deeds executed by individuals need to be sealed.

   

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

 


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.