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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

Ukrainian Corporate Tax Reform Plans Shelved
Friday 14/12/2018
Ukraine has reportedly postponed consideration of a bill that would reform the country's corporate tax system to shift the burden of tax from company profits to distributions.

UK Urged To Drop Plan To Extend Offshore Tax Limitations Period
Friday 30/11/2018
The UK Parliament's Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee has proposed that provisions should be stripped from the Finance Bill that would extend the time limit on assessing offshore tax to 12 years.

UK Urged To Push Back Making Tax Digital Agenda
Friday 30/11/2018
In a new report released on November 22, 2018, the UK's Economic Affairs Committee called for a one-year delay to the implementation date of Making Tax Digital for VAT.

Germany's Bundestag Approves VAT Reforms
Friday 16/11/2018
Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, has approved the introduction of new value-added tax rules for online marketplaces.

UK To Shutter Second Home Tax Avoidance 'Loophole'
Friday 9/11/2018
The UK Government has announced its intention to tackle the use of a commercial property tax (business rates) exemption, intended only for small businesses, by second-home owners to avoid paying residential property tax (Council Tax) on those homes.

UK Announces Digital Tax, Corporate Tax Reforms In New Budget
Friday 2/11/2018
The UK's 2018 Budget includes changes to tax rules for companies, and notably for multinational groups to conform with the EU's Anti Tax Avoidance Directive. Most significantly, the UK has decided to move ahead of the EU in announcing that it will apply a tax on the turnover of certain digital businesses.

Jersey Tables Legislation For New Economic Substance Rules
Monday 29/10/2018
The Jersey Government has announced that it will release for public consultation guidance notes on the introduction of a new economic substance requirement for certain taxpayers to access Jersey's tax regime.

Australian SME Tax Cuts Now Law
Monday 29/10/2018
Legislation to reduce Australia's small business tax rate received Royal Assent on October 25.

Canada To Push Ahead With Carbon Tax Plans
Monday 29/10/2018
Canada's federal Government has announced that it will impose a carbon price in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in 2019.

EU Tells Italy To Revise 2019 Budget Plan
Friday 26/10/2018
On October 23, 2018, the European Commission issued a request to the Italian Government that it revise its draft budgetary plan for 2019 because it breaches European Union fiscal rules.