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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

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

New Zealand

New Zealand: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
New Zealand: Review of the Law of Trusts
New Zealand: Taxation of Trusts

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

 


Offshore Trusts News

Canadian Revenue Dip 'Linked To Tax Planning' Wednesday 20/9/2017 Personal income tax minimization strategies reduced Canada's personal income tax revenues in 2016/17 and dragged total revenues lower, the Government has said.

BVI Government Updates Business In Wake Of Irma Tuesday 19/9/2017 The British Virgin Islands Premier, Orlando Smith, has provided an update to territory businesses on the service issues facing the territory in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Australia Clarifies Small Business Rate Rules Monday 18/9/2017 The Australian Government has released draft legislation to clarify that passive investment companies cannot access the lower company tax rate for small businesses.

New Zealand Labour Outlines Tax Plans Monday 18/9/2017 New Zealand's Labour Party, which is edging ahead of the incumbent National Party-formed government in recent polls, has proposed a number of tax changes ahead of the September 23 election.

Swiss Bankers Urge Care In Information Exchange Monday 18/9/2017 The CEO of the Swiss Bankers Association has stressed that confidentiality, data security, and data protection requirements must be complied with when the automatic exchange of tax information gets underway.

Guernsey Ready To Support 'Impact Investing' Activity Friday 15/9/2017 Guernsey's financial services promotion agency, Guernsey Finance, has released a paper on the opportunities "impact investing" presents for established international financial centers.

Mexico Offers Tax Relief To Earthquake-Hit Firms Friday 15/9/2017 Mexico's Inland Revenue is to waive tax obligations for businesses impacted by an earthquake in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas on September 7.

Trudeau Defends Controversial Tax Proposals Friday 15/9/2017 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that no one earning less than CAD150,000 (USD123,154) will be affected by his Government's plan to crack down on tax planning strategies used by private corporations.

Australia To Tackle Illegal Phoenixing Activity Tuesday 12/9/2017 The Australian Government has announced a package of reforms to deter and penalize illegal phoenixing activity.

Portugal Warns Couples To Register, To Pay Less Property Tax Tuesday 12/9/2017 Couples who live together in Portugal are being encouraged to report such to the tax authority, to be eligible for a lower bill under the country's new municipal property tax.