British Virgin Islands (BVI)Source image: Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina by Lheld1023 / CC by 2.0
The British Virgin Islands are located east of Purto Rico in the Caribbean. These British Dependent Territory islands are part of the Virgin Islands Archipelago which consist of over 50 islands and cays. The main islands are; Virgin Gorda, Tortola, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. The capital is Road Town and which is located on Tortola (the main island) which is 20km long and 5km wide with a population of around 22,000.
The British Virgin Islands are among the most prosperous islands in the Caribbean, with the main source of revenue being tourism and the financial sector. With a politically stable government, a UK based system of law and English as the official language, the BVI is an attractive jurisdiction to register a company. The BVI is one of the world’s leading finance centres offering stability with a progressive and democratic society. The financial sector is responsible for just over 50% of total government revenues. The BVI is committed to retaining an investor’s right to privacy providing a professional banking sector with top quality legal, accounting and trust and management services.
The British Virgin Islands have been regulated by the independent Financial Services Commission since 2001. The BVI Financial Services Commission is the regulatory authority for all financial services operating in, or from within, the British Virgin Island. The FSC is dedicated to safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of legitimate businesses whilst prohibiting any illegal or unauthorised business.
Since the adoption of the BVI International Business Companies Ordinance in 1984 there have been over 450,000 companies incorporated, demonstrating the dominance of the British Virgin Islands as a major offshore jurisdiction.The British Virgin Islands are a stable, established, tax efficient jurisdiction in which to incorporate.
Benefits of registering a company in BVI:
- All documents and legislation are in the official business language of English.
- The incorporation time for a BVI company is short and any future administration simple and cost-efficient.
- A BVI company offers a high level of privacy and confidentiality.
- There are no requirement to pay capital gains, inheritance taxes or death duties.
- No dividends, interest or royalties are required to be paid.
- Registered or bearer shares are permitted.
- Only one Director and Shareholder are required. The Directors and Shareholders can be any nationality and are not required to be resident in the BVI.
- There is no requirement for an annual meeting to be held. If board meetings are required they can be held anywhere in the world.
- Directors can be individual or corporate bodies.
- There is no requirement to register initial or ongoing changes in Directors and Shareholders.
- There are lenient accounting and auditing requirements.
- No foreign exchange controls exist.
- Corporate bank accounts can be opened without being present at the bank.
Gibraltar companies now have to disclose full Beneficial Ownership details to Central Register
Gibraltar is working to implement all EU legislation relating to the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive into national law, in addition to the current EU legislation on financial supervision and direct taxation, and to this affect, the Government of Gibraltar have established a Central Register of Beneficial Ownership that will be effective from June 26th 2017.
European Commission publishes tax avoidance disclosure directive
The EC (European Commission) has published its draft legislation compelling financial service providers or intermediaries to disclose any international tax planning schemes they have encouraged, enabled or assisted in any way.
OECD publishes compliance review for all non-compliant jurisdictions
The OECDs global tax transparency initiative was launched last year in April 2016, with the purpose of encouraging every jurisdiction across the world to commit to implementation of a CRS (Common Reporting Standard) for automatic exchange of information by 2018, and to sign the Multilateral Convention on the exchanging of tax data. A forum on behalf of the OECD has released the results of its review for jurisdictions it considers to be non-compliant.
EU Parliament Committee release findings & recommendations for current offshore taxation measures
A formal enquiry into the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has been launched by the European Parliament's Committee, which found gaps in beneficial ownership transparency for trusts and fiduciaries and didn’t meet the EU standard.
2017 G20 summit: Enforcement of taxation highest priority
The 2017 G20 leaders’ summit took place in Hamburg last week where the European Commission Council and leaders discussed the priorities and primary projects for the upcoming summit. EC President Jean-Claude Juncker has stated that advancing the global combat against tax evasion is top of the list.
The EC takes action against advocates promoting tax avoidance schemes
The European Commission has recommended the implementation of a new regulation regarding companies or intermediaries who promote or design cross-border tax planning schemes will going forward be required to provide full disclosure to the tax authorities of their relevant jurisdiction within five days of offering them to clients.
What are the new Beneficial Ownership reporting requirements for BVI companies?
Going forward, a new regulation will require certain British Virgin Islands companies to gather and retain details of Beneficial Owners with 25% or more of the company’s shareholding rights, with an ongoing requirement to keep the details up to date.
Russian citizens can gain Cyprus tax residency by staying only 60 days on island, whats the catch?
Cyprus is once again working to improve its economic desirability and will be able to increase its alternative business base for Russians with good creditworthiness.