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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

Irish Issues E-Brief On Mergers And Divisions
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The Irish Revenue has published guidance on the tax compliance obligations that arise from mergers and divisions.

President Trump Considering New Tax Cuts
Thursday 22/8/2019
United States President Donald Trump said on August 20, 2019, that the administration is considering additional tax cuts to help maintain economic growth.

NZ Tax Man To Enforce Real-Time PAYE Reporting
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New Zealand's Inland Revneue Department has said it is to challenge those employers who are currently failing to file their payroll information every payday.

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Hong Kong's Government has announced a package of reliefs for businesses and individuals, in response to the recent riots and risks around the global economy.

Italy Finalizes Rules For New Patent Box Regime
Thursday 8/8/2019
Italy's tax agency on July 30, 2019, published a definitive version of the rules for the operation of the country's patent box regime.

Austria To Introduce New Angel Investor Tax Breaks
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The European Commission has approved an Austrian tax incentive for mid-sized business financing companies.

Gibraltar Adopts EU Dispute Resolution Rules
Thursday 8/8/2019
Gibraltar has enacted new regulations to transpose the EU's new tax dispute resolution mechanisms, set out in EU Council Directive 2017/1852, into Gibraltar's domestic tax law.

IRS Clarifies FTC Rules For French Social Taxes
Thursday 25/7/2019
On July 19, 2019, the United States Internal Revenue Service updated its webpage on foreign tax credits to clarify that it will not challenge foreign tax credit claims involving certain French taxes.

UK Shelves Plans For Surcharge On Overseas UK Property Buyers
Thursday 25/7/2019
The UK Government has dropped inclusion in the upcoming Finance Bill of a new one percent stamp duty land tax (SDLT) surcharge on non-UK residents purchasing residential property in England and Northern Ireland.

Seychelles Seeks Input On Corporate Tax Regime Overhaul
Tuesday 16/7/2019
The Government of Seychelles has launched a consultation to seek views on an overhaul to the territory's business tax regime, with a new regime proposed to be implemented from 2020.