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Offshore Trusts Report: Nevis

Legal Framework for International Exempt Trusts

These trusts are formed under the Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance of 1994, as amended to 2002. The Trust Ordinance includes special provisions to enhance the use of Nevis as a preferred jurisdiction for the establishment of Asset Protection Trusts.

Highlights of the Trust Ordinance include:

  • Exemption from all forms of Nevis taxation and exchange controls provided that transactions take place only with non-residents;

  • The trustee may be either a trust company licensed to do business in Nevis or a company incorporated under the Corporation Ordinance;

  • The proper law may be the law of Nevis or the law of another jurisdiction;

  • The rule against perpetuities does not apply;

  • Forced heirship rules are specifically excluded;

  • Spendthrift and charitable trusts are permitted;

  • There is no registration requirement other than for the Trust's name, name of Trustee and the registered office address;

  • Settlor and Beneficiary must be non-residents and may be the same person;

  • One trustee must be a Nevis offshore company or a trust licensed company;

  • Protectors are allowed for and may be the same person as the Settlor and Beneficiary of the Trust;

  • An IET is valid and enforceable notwithstanding that it may be invalid according to the law of the Settlor's domicile or residence or place of current incorporation;

  • The Trust is not considered fraudulent if settled up to 2 years after the date of the creditor's cause of action;

  • The creditor must prove the intent of the debtor to defraud with "clear and convincing" evidence;

  • The Statute of Queen Elizabeth is excluded.

Like all offshore finance businesses in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, trust management companies need authorisation under the Financial Services (Regulations) Order, 1997. Under the Order, applicants wishing to establish a trust business handling both unrestricted and restricted business must (at the time of writing) have net assets of 540,000 East Caribbean dollars ($200,000) or its equivalent in other currencies, reduced to 54,000 East Caribbean dollars ($20,000) for restricted business.

The trustee may be either a trust company licensed to do business in Nevis or a company incorporated under the Corporation Ordinance (ie an International Business Company). There is no registration requirement other than for the Trust's name, name of the Trustee and the registered office address.

A US$25,000 bond requirement prior to the commencement of an action or proceeding against trust property in the 1994 Act was increased to US$100,000 under the Nevis International Exempt Trust (Amendment) Ordinance 2009.

An International Exempt Trust (Nevis) pays an annual registration fee of US$220 to the government.

Nevis trusts are exempt from all forms of taxation and exchange controls provided that transactions take place only with non-residents.

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

Nevis News

Nevis Has No New Taxes Planned For 2014
Monday 23/12/2013
The premier and minister of finance for Nevis, Vance Amory, presented a budget free of new taxes at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly on December 18, 2013.

US Court Closes Employee Insurance Benefit Tax Scheme
Monday 12/3/2012
The United States Justice Department has announced that a federal court has permanently barred the operation of an alleged scheme that helps high-income individuals attempt to avoid income taxes by funnelling money through purported "welfare benefit plansĒ.

St Kitts And Nevis Targets Red Tape
Wednesday 18/8/2010
The government of Saint Kitts and Nevis has announced that it has begun a review of bureaucracy in the twin-island federation to ease the cost of conducting business in the islands.

St Kitts And Nevis Nears White List
Tuesday 9/3/2010
The Caribbean federation of St Kitts and Nevis signed its tenth Tax Information Exchange Agreement with Australia at a ceremony on March 5.

Caribbean Explores Fiscal Cooperation
Tuesday 9/3/2010
Ahead of the World Bank meeting, to be held on March 11-12, where CARICOM Finance Ministers will meet to discuss challenges that the region faces, CARICOM Secretary General, Edwin Carrington said it was vital for Caribbean economies to increase economic cooperation and remove fiscal barriers, for the prosperity of the region going forward.

PM Denounces St Kitts' Inclusion On French Blacklist
Monday 22/2/2010
St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister, Denzil Douglas, has denounced the Federationís placement on Franceís new blacklist of non-cooperative territories, saying that efforts to meet international compliance standards is like "working towards a moving target".

COTED Chair Welcomes Progress On Caribbean Free Trade Issues
Thursday 18/2/2010
On the concluding day of the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development, Minister of Trade for Suriname and Chairman of the Council, Clifford Marica, welcomed progress made on the 20-item agenda, including progression towards the free trade agreements with third parties, and within the Caribbean region.

Agencies Discuss Progress In Caribbean Trade Integration
Tuesday 9/2/2010
The United Kingdom Department of International Development and the Inter-American Development Bank discussed today progress made in joint trade support and in the preparation of projects to promote private sector development and competitiveness in the Caribbean.

St Kitts And Nevis Secures Libyan Investment Bank
Tuesday 9/2/2010
Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Denzil Douglas has disclosed that the twin-island Federation has been chosen as the location for the Libyan Investment Bank.

Nevis Ready To Become Major Player In Financial Services
Tuesday 9/2/2010
Speaking recently, Nevisís Finance Minister Laurie Lawrence reiterated the governmentís commitment to establishing the territory as a major international player in the world of financial services.