Offshore Havens


Offshore havens which are also called tax havens or offshore tax havens. The tax havens have been described as countries or jurisdictions which have low tax rates and have protection laws in place which provides privacy and secrecy for offshore clients. Offshore havens are known to provide international financial services such as offshore banking, the incorporation of offshore companies, the formation of offshore foundations and exempt trusts, the incorporation of exempt partnerships and offshore Limited Liability Companies. Best tax havens of the world are located in the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Central America.



Offshore havens can be put into different groupings. For example there are zero tax havens which refer to those countries which levies zero local taxes on offshore companies or entities whose capital is gained outside of the tax haven. Countries which qualify for the zero tax haven category includes Dominica, Anguilla, Panama, Belize, Seychelles, Nevis, St Kitts, BVI, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Vanuatu and Antigua among others. Offshore companies and offshore entities (trusts and foundations) registered in these jurisdictions pay no income tax and corporate tax on incomes which has been gained outside of the jurisdictions.



Offshore companies and entities will only pay a registration fee and an annual license fee. Another category of offshore tax havens worth mentioning are the low tax havens. These are countries which apply very low tax rate to the profits offshore companies registered with the tax havens. The taxes even if applied are very low when compared to the tax rates applied to the profits of companies in countries which are not offshore havens. The tax applied varies in the jurisdictions and starts as low as 1% and can go up to 20%. Low tax offshore jurisdictions are countries like Hong Kong, Barbados and Cyprus.



In the past tax havens offshore were a bit harder to access for the average individual , it was more readily available to the extremely rich individuals, corporations and families but today offshore haves are more easily available as there are many more available. Offshore havens have become popular because people see the need to reduce on tax liabilities as well as protect their assets and wealth. Tax havens are used by persons who want to do efficient tax planning. As mentioned above the tax havens do not subject the profits offshore companies to taxes and those with tax schemes in place do not have very exorbitant tax rates. Offshore companies are exempted from capital gains, tax, withholding tax and estate tax is many tax havens offshore. Stamp duty is one of the taxes that offshore companies and entities are exempted from.



Tax free havens are the ideal locations when considering ways and mean of protecting assets. By placing assets (properties, capital etc) in an offshore corporation, offshore trusts or foundation means protecting those from third parties. Offshore legislation in the offshore tax havens makes properties in offshore entities safe from foreign legislation and makes it impossible for assets to be obtained by third parties as a result of the rulings of foreign courts. Offshore havens are chosen by many for the privacy and security which they offer.



Tax havens give offshore companies, entities and clients a high degree of privacy. In many offshore tax havens it is an offense to divulge information in offshore bank account and information concerning offshore companies and entities can be given out by any registered agent, bank employee or employee of the Registrar of Companies without first seeking and the permission of the persons in question (offshore bank account holder, limited companies owner or beneficiaries of offshore entities). Persons who disregard this may find themselves facing a prison sentence and monetary fines. Information concerning offshore clients, offshore companies and offshore bank accounts can only be given out to third parties if it is determined that these people or corporations are involved in criminal activities and a court order has been handed out.



The offshore services provided by tax havens offshore are not very costly and is of very high standards. Offshore companies can be efficiently incorporated in an offshore haven in just one working day. Tax havens such as Dominica, Anguilla and Belize incorporate offshore companies n one day. For offshore company registration in most offshore jurisdictions one shareholder and on company director is needed and the same person can fill both positions. Some tax havens offshore make it possible for offshore companies and UK companies to use nominee directors and shareholders for incorporation. Exempt Trusts and Foundations are just as easy to set up.



Offshore banking services in the offshore havens are provided for corporations and individuals. Like offshore corporations offshore bank accounts are not subjected to local taxation and are protected by privacy laws. The tax havens all put strict laws in place to protect offshore banking sectors; most offshore tax havens have money laundering laws and other laws in place to eradicate criminal activities in the banking sector. Offshore banking in the offshore havens is well monitored and services are provided by many well established banks. In the offshore tax havens offshore banking is provided by both local and international banks and services include accounts in different currencies, internet banking, debit and credit cards, banking via telephone, bank drafts, and chequing accounts among others.



There are many offshore jurisdictions available today and it is important to choose an offshore tax haven which has very good qualities. It is important to choose an offshore tax haven which can provide asset protection, tax savings as well as privacy and confidentiality to clients. It is important to choose an offshore haven where the government of that offshore haven is devoted to the offshore services sector. This means that the legislation supporting the various offshore services is up to standards and the necessary bodies have been put in place to regulate and supervise the provision of offshore services. The offshore tax havens of the world provide clients with ideal business investments and the means of protecting these investments at very low costs.


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