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Introduction: The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners is the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues. It is a unique global body which provides its members with a local, national and international learning and business network focusing on the “responsible stewardship of assets today and across the generations.”

STEP members help plan family successions and to navigate the complex laws and tax rules surrounding trusts, estates and inheritance.

Founded in 1991 by George Tasker, a senior trust manager with a big five UK accountancy firm, STEP was initially intended to be a discussion forum for the profession in the UK. However, since its first meeting in London, the organization has grown rapidly and STEP now has more than 14,500 members in 66 countries, ranging from the US and the UK to New Zealand and Mauritius. STEP branches can be found in 33 countries in Europe, Asia, North America, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Australasia.

STEP provides education, training, representation and networking for its members. Members advise clients on the broad business of the management of personal finance. Full members of STEP are the most experienced and senior practitioners in the field of trusts and estates.

STEP supports a wide-ranging education and training programme and more than 3,500 students worldwide are currently studying for STEP qualifications. STEP members are subject to a rigorous code of professional conduct and the public can identify if their adviser is a STEP member by the use of the designation TEP (Trust and Estate Practitioner) after their name. STEP also actively promotes continuing professional development among its members through briefings, publications, special interest groups, courses and seminars.

Although politically non-aligned, STEP campaigns for fair, transparent and consistent tax rules so that families making long-term plans have “clear tax rules that do not change repeatedly if they are going to have the confidence to enter into long-term commitments.” One recent notable example was STEP’s highlighting of the potentially damaging impact of proposed changes to the UK rules on the taxation of non-domiciled taxpayers, giving technical evidence to a House of Lords Committee and securing significant changes in legislation. STEP has also worked closely with the European Union in ensuring that proposed changes to the EU Savings Directive are “robust and practical for professional advisers to implement.” In addition, STEP has been with several jurisdictions on the practical implementation of the G20/OECD programme for improved international tax transparency.

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

UK May Double Capital Gains Tax Burden
Tuesday 17/11/2020
More closely aligning UK capital gains tax (CGT) rates with income tax rates could raise significant revenues for the UK, a government-commissioned review has concluded.

Malta Releases 2021 Budget
Monday 2/11/2020
Malta's 2021 Budget, announced on October 19, 2020, included tax breaks for individuals and an increase to the VAT registration threshold.

OECD Indicates New Focus On Virtual Currency Tax Issues
Tuesday 20/10/2020
The OECD has released a new report on countries' tax rules for virtual currencies, alongside an announcement that the Common Reporting Standard will be expanded next year to newly cover virtual currency assets.

UK Updates Brexit VAT Guidance For Imported Goods
Tuesday 20/10/2020
On October 5, 2020, the UK tax authority added considerably to its Brexit guidance for businesses on the value-added tax rules that will apply to goods entering Great Britain from outside the UK.

Turkey Cuts Tax On Forex Transactions
Monday 5/10/2020
Turkey has reversed an increase to the country's Banking Insurance Transaction Tax (BSMV) on foreign currency and gold purchases.

Netherlands Allows More Time To Pay Frozen Tax Debts
Monday 5/10/2020
The Dutch Government has announced that businesses may further delay payment of certain tax dues that were frozen in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

France To Cut Business Taxes
Monday 5/10/2020
French Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire presented the 2021 Finance Bill to parliament on September 28, 2020, which includes provisions to reduced taxes on production and plans to reduce the corporate tax rate next year.

Belgium Launches Tax Filing Season For Non-Resident Individuals
Tuesday 29/9/2020
The Belgian Ministry of Finance has announced that non-resident taxpayers may now file their tax return electronically for the 2020 tax year.

New Zealand Updates Virtual Currency Tax Guidance
Wednesday 16/9/2020
New Zealand's Inland Revenue on September 7, 2020, announced the release of updated guidance on the tax treatment of crypto-assets in New Zealand, including virtual currencies.

UK Reviewing VAT Group Rules
Monday 14/9/2020
The UK Government has recently issued a call for evidence from UK VAT groups on future policy reform.