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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

Australian Tax Agency Announces Virtual Currency Tax Focus
Wednesday 9/6/2021
The Australian Taxation Office has expressed its concern that some taxpayers do not fully understand the tax implications of cryptocurrency gains.

Bahamas Announces Various VAT Changes In New Budget
Wednesday 9/6/2021
The Bahamas Government has announced various changes to its value-added tax regime in its new Budget, focusing on the real estate sector, including for sharing economy platforms.

Hong Kong Issues Tax Returns For Individuals
Wednesday 12/5/2021
On May 3, 2021, the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department issued over 2.62 million tax returns for individuals for the year of assessment 2020-21.

Countries Discuss Post-Pandemic Tax Agenda At UN Council Meeting
Wednesday 12/5/2021
Experts speaking at the UN's Economic and Social Council's annual Special Meeting on International Cooperation in Tax Matters concluded that the international community must do more to tackle tax base erosion and profit shifting and offshore tax evasion.

China Halves Corporate Tax For Smallest Businesses
Thursday 15/4/2021
Chinese authorities have announced enhanced temporary tax breaks for small businesses.

US IRS Reminds Of FBAR Filing Obligation
Thursday 15/4/2021
The Internal Revenue Service is reminding US citizens, resident aliens, and any domestic legal entity that the deadline to file their annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is still April 15, 2021.

Hong Kong Issues 2020-21 Tax Returns
Tuesday 6/4/2021
On April 1, 2021, the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department began issuing profits tax, property tax, and employer's returns for the year of assessment 2020-21.

UAE Sets Out VAT Rules For Social Media Income, Performers
Friday 19/3/2021
The United Arab Emirates' Federal Tax Authority has released a bulletin highlighting the value-added tax rights and obligations of performers and those who earn income from online platforms.

Singapore Explains Changes To 2021 Tax Filing Rules
Wednesday 3/3/2021
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has said that it will be sending tax bills directly to certain taxpayers this tax filing season and will be simplifying filing arrangements for the self-employed.

Hong Kong Announces Tax Relief In 2021-22 Budget
Wednesday 3/3/2021
Hong Kong will grant taxpayers a waiver of up to HKD10,000 (USD1,290) of profits tax, salaries tax, and tax under personal assessment, the territory announced in its 2021-22 Budget.