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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

Switzerland A Step Closer On Corporate Tax Reform
Friday 21/9/2018
The two houses of Switzerland's parliament have said that they are largely in agreement on the main points of the Government's proposed changes to the corporation tax system.

Australian PM Planning New SME Tax Changes
Tuesday 4/9/2018
Australia's new Prime Minister has said his Government is working on plans to help improve the tax competitiveness of small businesses.

Netherlands Ponders New Aviation Tax
Monday 16/7/2018
The Dutch Government has begun a public consultation exercise on plans to introduce a new tax on air travel by 2021.

Australian Tax Changes Effective From July 1
Friday 6/7/2018
The Australian Government has set out the numerous changes made to the tax system on July 1 and launched a consultation on new tax rules for "stapled structures."

IMF Urges US To Hike Indirect Taxes
Friday 6/7/2018
The International Monetary Fund has recommended that the United States raise indirect taxes to boost revenues, to offset the cost of recent tax cuts and spending increases.

Pakistani Tax Amnesties Extended Until July 31
Monday 9/7/2018
Pakistan's Government has approved a one-month extension to tax amnesties for companies and individuals, which were due to end on June 30, 2018.

OECD Welcomes Dutch Efforts To Counter BEPS
Wednesday 4/7/2018
The OECD has welcomed efforts by the Dutch Government to tackle base erosion and profit shifting but called for the overall tax regime to be simplified, including in area of value-added tax.

Australian Gov't Delays Company Tax Vote
Sunday 1/7/2018
The Australian Government is to postpone a Senate vote on its company tax cuts until after July's by-elections.

Skilled Foreigners Being Turned Away For UK Visas
Monday 18/6/2018
Lower-paid medical practitioners are increasingly having their request for UK working visas rejected, as a result of immigration quotas.

Seychelles Introduces Progressive PIT Regime
Thursday 21/6/2018
The Seychelles introduced a new progressive income tax system for individuals on June 1, 2018.