Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Why Invest Offshore?

Offshore financial planning is much more open than used to be the case but still has many advantages. This is especially true with the use of Trusts.

·         Not for tax evasion!

·         Lost faith in British & Irish Banks or Insurance Companies

·         Strategic financial planning

The term “offshore” originally comes from financial institutions located offshore from UK in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, but is now used figuratively to refer to banks in many regions, particularly Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Bahamas and politically neutral European jurisdictions such as Switzerland. In recent times, New Zealand has a growing reputation for flexible trusts and liberal investment rules.

Individuals or organisations (including companies and businesses) may be interested in placing assets offshore for a variety of legitimate reasons, including:

1.      The existence of a sophisticated infrastructure of financial institutions and     professional service providers (lawyers, accountants, corporate services, etc). This is particularly true of Jersey and Guernsey where most of the financial services professionals will have trained in the UK

2.      Tighter government regulation in the region in which the financial institution is domiciled. This may allow for a relatively favourable investment environment as compared to onshore.

3.      Access to politically and economically stable jurisdictions. This may be an advantage for individuals who lack faith in the financial institutions in their ‘home’ country. After experiences of the last few years many British and Irish people might have lost faith in Banks.

4.      Tax neutral.  Having no added local tax burden is a useful advantage for individuals who are not obligated to pay tax on worldwide income, or who may be able to defer taxation.  It also allows individuals to structure their assets without having to worry about local tax complications.

5.      As part of estate and/or asset protection planning.

6.      Broader "global" view than often found with onshore institutions.

7.      Strong privacy and confidentiality laws to help protect depositor's privacy.

8.      Trustees in the UK are often large companies, sometimes owned by insurance companies and seen to be impersonal. It is more likely that the services of a Trust Company in Jersey or Guernsey will be much more personal, though possibly also more expensive, but the expertise level is very high.

Before considering any offshore investments you should carefully consider you objectives and decide what you are trying to achieve. The expertise in giving you advice needs to be at a high level. I can recommend advisers with the expertise, if you email me.

Tax Evasion Warning
Individuals with non-legitimate intentions may also seek to do business offshore, just as they do onshore, incorrectly assuming that their activities may be more likely to be overlooked or found acceptable. This of course is tax evasion and is illegal. The only advice I can offer such individuals is to make themselves legal and legitimate! Use an authorised and regulated adviser that I will be happy to recommend id you email me


You can write to me with your personal experiences or to be put in touch with my recommended adviser by sending me an email