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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

Hungarian Government Submits Tax Bill
Friday 15/11/2019
On November 12, 2019, Hungary's Ministry of Finance announced that it has submitted to parliament the seventh and final part of its Economic Action Plan, which includes various tax measures.

Warren Announces US Corporate Tax And Wealth Tax Plans
Friday 8/11/2019
On November 1, 2019, the presidential campaign of United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) published plans for a system of universal Medicare that will be partially funded by tax increases on large corporations and wealthy individuals, as well as by stricter anti-tax avoidance rules.

South Africa Launches Large Business Center
Monday 28/10/2019
On October 23, 2019, the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service launched the re-established Large Business Centre, which aims to bring about higher levels of voluntary tax compliance among large taxpayers.

Ireland Publishes 2019 Finance Bill
Friday 18/10/2019
The Irish Government has published its 2019 Finance Bill, which introduces changes to a number of SME-targeted tax incentives and implements a range of measures announced in this month's Budget.

New Zealand Offering Simpler, Cheaper Rulings For SMEs
Friday 4/10/2019
On October 1, 2019, New Zealand's Inland Revenue began offering to SMEs and individuals a simplified tax ruling process that is shorter and cheaper.

An Update On Brazil's Efforts To Install VAT
Friday 4/10/2019
Brazil's Government must overcome a number of challenges, including assuaging the concerns of state authorities, if it is deliver on its plans to overhaul the country's complex indirect tax system.

Jersey Consults On Reporting CRS Avoidance Arrangements
Friday 27/9/2019
The Jersey Government is consulting on the implementation of mandatory disclosure rules for Common Reporting Standard Avoidance Arrangements and Opaque Offshore Structures.

Sanders Unveils US Wealth Tax
Friday 27/9/2019
United States Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, has proposed a new tax, as well as a series of enforcement measures, targeting America's wealthiest individuals.

Finnish Budget For 2020 Agreed
Friday 27/9/2019
On September 17, 2019, the Finnish Ministry of Finance announced that the Government has reached an agreement on the contents of the 2020 Budget, which includes some tax reductions for both companies and individuals.

Netherlands Planning Slower But Deeper Corporate Tax Cut
Friday 20/9/2019
On September 17, 2019, Dutch State Secretary for Finance Menno Snel presented the Government's 2020 Tax Plan to the House of Representatives. It includes revised plans for corporate tax cuts.