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Introduction: Development Of Professional Competence In The Jurisdictions

When offshore trusts began to be used in a major way, they were usually set up by professionals in the home jurisdiction of the settlor, reflecting the lack of professional expertise in the few offshore jurisdictions that were then available. Eventually the main professional firms began to set up offices in the jurisdictions, and a gradual process began which has resulted in the emergence of sophisticated, multi-disciplinary firms offshore. When these firms work for the corporate sector, they can be referred to as 'corporate service providers', a term which implies a blend of tax, legal and financial expertise.

In parallel with the growth of professional expertise, and sometimes in competition with it, those jurisdictions which encouraged banking usually saw the development of 'fiduciary' companies, often run as departments of banks, which specialised in the setting-up and running of trusts. The banks after all, which were and are rapidly developing their private banking sides, had a ready supply of wealthy clients for a trust business.

In most jurisdictions, professional competence ran ahead of legislative controls, and in many jurisdictions the wall of money that hit offshore from illicit sources in the '90s may have found it all too easy to burrow unseen into the layer of anonymous trusts, IBCs (International Business Companies) and bank accounts that makes up the asset base of offshore. The response of the legislators, sometimes with quite a lot of pushing from the international bodies that have been trying to clean up 'offshore', has usually been to pass a 'Banks and Trusts Act' or similar, which establishes a licensing and 'know your customer' regime for the trust sector.

The horror of 9/11 has of course enormously accelerated this process, and faced with extremely sharp-toothed US legislation, the major offshore jurisdictions have raced to become cleaner-than-clean in terms of their anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist funding regimes, to the point that many of them are by now far 'cleaner' than the very OECD countries which began the anti-offshore process in the mid-90s.

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


Offshore Trusts News

Gibraltar Marks 25th Year of HNWI Residency Scheme
Saturday 17/2/2018
Gibraltar is marking the 25th year of its special tax residency program for high-net-worth individuals, known officially as Category 2 status, which limits taxation on worldwide income to a maximum of GBP30,000 (USD41,958) per year.

Cayman Eases Deadline For CbC Reporting
Wednesday 14/2/2018
Authorities in the Cayman Islands have pushed back the deadline for notifying local authorities of which entity will file a country-by-country report, and for filing the first reports.

Morrison Continues Australian Corporate Tax Cut Push
Tuesday 13/2/2018
It does not "make any sense" to keep Australia's business taxes high, Treasurer Scott Morrison has said.

IoM Guides On Vetting Key Persons
Tuesday 6/2/2018
The Isle of Man's Financial Services Authority has updated its guidance on the criminal records checks regulated entities are required to undertake.

Bermuda Launches Anti-Money Laundering Campaign
Friday 2/2/2018
Bermuda's Prime Minister, David Burt, has launched a public awareness campaign calling on all islanders and businesses to support the Government's efforts to combat global financial crime.

EU Issues GDPR Tool For SMEs, Guidance For States
Wednesday 31/1/2018
The European Commission has newly launched an online tool to support citizens, businesses – and in particular small- and medium-sized firms – and other organizations to come to terms and comply with new data protection rules being introduced from May 25: the General Data Protection Regulation.

EU Asks For Small Firms' Input On VAT Reform Plans
Wednesday 31/1/2018
The European Commission has asked for taxpayers' feedback in respect of its proposals to simplify value-added tax compliance for small enterprises, alongside the publication of its proposal for a Council Directive to amend the EU VAT Directive as regards the special scheme for small businesses.

Barbados Looks To Bolster Intellectual Property Regime
Monday 29/1/2018
Barbados's Government has laid out plans to better safeguard the intellectual property rights of the island's micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

IoM Consults On EU Data Protection Law Changes
Wednesday 24/1/2018
The Isle of Man Government has issued a consultation document providing further detail on the alignment of the island's data protection law with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force on May 25, 2018.

Hong Kong Eases Stamp Duty Rules For Residents
Monday 22/1/2018
Hong Kong has relaxed the rules for those buying residential property, with the publication in the Official Gazette of The Stamp Duty (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 on January 19, 2018.