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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

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Barbados's 2019 Budget includes proposals to remove VAT input tax credits for various supplies, reform the personal income tax regime, and generate more revenues from property taxes and the gaming sector.

Denmark Seeking To Modernize Labor Tax Rules
Friday 5/4/2019
On March 25, 2019, the Danish Tax Ministry announced that it is studying ways in which the tax system can be adapted to new forms of employment and ways of working, with an emphasis on technological developments.

UK's Making Tax Digital Initiative To Cover Only VAT Until 2021
Tuesday 26/3/2019
British businesses have welcomed confirmation from the UK Government that Making Tax Digital will not be rolled out to other taxes and more businesses in 2020.

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On February 19, the Canada Revenue Agency officially opened the 2019 tax filing season.

UK Tax Info Request To Dubai Resident Lawful, UK Court Says
Tuesday 12/2/2019
The UK's Court of Appeal has ruled that HM Revenue and Customs acted lawfully when issuing a request to a British expat in Dubai for documents concerning his tax affairs.

Ireland Updates Special Assignee Relief Programme Guide
Tuesday 12/2/2019
The Irish tax agency has updated its guidance on provisions in Section 825C of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 on the Special Assignee Relief Programme.

Netherlands To Improve Employee Allowance Scheme
Tuesday 12/2/2019
The Dutch Ministry of Finance announced on February 1, 2019, that the work-related costs scheme will be improved from 2020.

EU To Probe Potential Abuses Of Citizenship By Investment Schemes
Monday 28/1/2019
For the first time, the Commission has presented a comprehensive report on investor citizenship and residence schemes operated by a number of EU member states.

Canadian Tax Regime To Be Enhanced From 2019
Friday 28/12/2018
Canada's small business tax rate will be reduced from 10 percent to nine percent from January 1, 2019, as part of a suite of new year tax changes.

France To Levy Digital Tax Starting Jan 2019
Friday 21/12/2018
The French Government has decided to bring forward the introduction of a national tax on digital companies following the failure of European Union member states to agree on an EU-wide digital services tax.