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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

Netherlands To Split Tax Agency
Wednesday 15/1/2020
On January 11, 2020, Dutch Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra informed the House of Representatives about the Government's plans to restructure the tax authorities.

Switzerland Simplifies Process For German WHT Refunds
Wednesday 15/1/2020
The Swiss Government has said that from January 31, individuals and legal entitles domiciled in Germany will be able to use an online Swiss application to request a refund of Swiss withholding tax.

Korea Enacts 2019 Tax Revision Bill
Wednesday 15/1/2020
The Korean Government has announced that the 2019 Tax Revision Bill was enacted on January 6, 2020, with a number of new measures added to the existing proposals.

IRS Launches Gig Economy Tax Center
Wednesday 15/1/2020
On January 9, 2019, the United States Internal Revenue Service announced the launch of a new Gig Economy Tax Center, which is intended to help taxpayers meet their tax obligations through more streamlined information.

Nigeria Offers Grace Period For Obtaining Tax Clearance Certificates
Wednesday 15/1/2020
The Executive Chairman of Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami, has signed a notice providing companies with an extra 30-day window to obtain a tax clearance certificate.

German FinMin Outlines 2020 Tax Changes
Tuesday 31/12/2019
The German Ministry of Finance has outlined a number of tax changes that are due to take effect in 2020 and 2021.

Luxembourg's 2020 Budget Approved By Parliament
Tuesday 31/12/2019
On December 19, 2019, Luxembourg's Chamber of Deputies approved the Government's Budget for 2020, which among other measures includes important changes to the validity of advanced tax rulings.

Tax Extenders Passed In US Spending Package
Monday 23/12/2019
On December 17, 2019, the United States House of Representatives passed a year-end spending package, which includes legislation extending numerous expired and expiring tax provisions, and repealing certain taxes introduced to help fund the Obamacare health care reforms.

Nigeria To Begin Tax Enforcement Campaign
Monday 23/12/2019
On December 17, 2019, Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service issued a seven-day notice to tax defaulters and announced that it will soon begin a nationwide tax enforcement campaign in order to pursue those with unpaid taxes.

Belgium To Expedite VAT Refunds For Start-Ups
Tuesday 31/12/2019
On December 18, 2019, the Belgian Federal Public Finance Service announced that start-up companies can request accelerated refunds of value-added tax credits from January 1, 2020.