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Introduction: The New Age of Transparency

By mid-2009, evidence was emerging that the trust and wealth management industries were adopting to the new age of transparency instigated by the OECD countries in response to the global financial metldown and subsequent economic crisis. Participants in a survey conducted by the Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners agreed that three key trends would develop in the industry over the course of the coming years.

These include:

  • The end of secrecy will mean families will seek out advisors and trustees who can master global tax advice. Economic conditions will mean tax competition between countries will increase and the distinction between offshore and onshore will disappear;

  • The industry will modernise its practices to attract a wider audience; increasing its market share through adopting best practices in investment management and enhancing compliance processes to reduce risk;

  • Products and services will continue to be combined together to create new revenue opportunities for wealth structuring professionals. Trust and Estate Planning practitioners will have to be increasingly innovative to expand the number of strategies in its ‘toolbox’ to create bespoke solutions in higher value structures.

Shortly after the results of this survey were published, STEP released figures which indicated that sentiment was improving amongst practitioners, with 41% of the organization's members predicting that trust and estate business would "improve" or "significantly improve" over the year ahead. This was almost double the number that held this view earlier in the year.

STEP Chief Executive David Harvey said: “The move to positivity among STEP members is a great indicator that, despite the economic downturn and the regulatory environment providing new challenges for trust and estate practitioners, the industry is looking to the future with renewed confidence. Our members are looking to embrace the opportunities afforded by the needs of international families to plan and to be compliant on an increasingly global, rather than national, basis.

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

EU Takes Action Against Spain Over Rules On Reporting Of Assets
Thursday 13/6/2019
The European Commission is taking Spain to the Court of Justice over the imposition of "disproportionate" sanctions for failure to report assets held abroad.

Hungary Announces Tax Cut Plan
Wednesday 5/6/2019
On May 31, 2019, the Hungarian Ministry of Finance announced numerous tax cuts as part of an economic growth plan.

Belgium Begins Accepting Personal Income Tax Returns
Friday 10/5/2019
On May 2, 2019, Belgium's finance ministry confirmed that the Tax-on-web portal has been opened for personal and corporate income tax returns for the 2019 fiscal year.

Austria To Cut Corporate Tax To 21pc By 2023
Friday 10/5/2019
Austria's Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, has announced plans for significant tax cuts for businesses and individuals.

HMRC Loses High-Profile IR35 Case
Friday 10/5/2019
The UK tax agency, HM Revenue and Customs, has lost a significant ruling concerning the application of the IR35 intermediaries legislation.

NZ Accountants Welcome Tax Reform Decisions
Monday 29/4/2019
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) has given a guarded welcome to the New Zealand Government's response to the recommendations of the Tax Working Group.

Barbados To Slash PIT Rates Through Indirect Tax Grab
Monday 15/4/2019
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.

Canada Launches Tax Filing Season
Tuesday 26/2/2019
On February 19, the Canada Revenue Agency officially opened the 2019 tax filing season.