Generally offshore trusts are similar in nature and effect to their onshore counterparts; they involve a settlor transferring (or 'settling') assets (the 'trust property') on the trustees to manage for the benefit of a person, class or persons (the 'beneficiaries') or, occasionally, an abstract purpose. However, a number of offshore jurisdictions have modified their laws to make their jurisdictions more attractive to settlors forming offshore structures as trusts. Liechtenstein, a civil jurisdiction which is sometimes considered to be offshore, has artificially imported the trust concept from common law jurisdictions by statute.
Uses of offshore trusts
Official statistics on trusts are difficult to come by as in most offshore jurisdictions (and in most onshore jurisdictions), trusts are not required to be registered, however, it is thought that the most common use of offshore trusts is as part of the tax and financial planning of wealthy individuals and their families. For instance, the founder of Wonga.com, Errol Damelin holds his shares through Castle Bridge Ventures, a trust based in the British Virgin Islands. While the family behind the Nando's restaurant chain, the Enthovens, reportedly use trusts in the Channel Islands as part of their financial planning. Other users of offshore trusts include Sir Ken Morrison, the British supermarket magnate, the Rothermere family who own the Daily Mail group and the late Bruce Gyngell who founded TV-am.
Soon players will be asking if Malta was found not up to the mark, then can we trust the other offshore regulators? So, it makes sense for those involved to put their rivalries aside and collectively sort out issues before the industry reputation takes a hit.
The identities of several other investors in the Irish business are obscured behind offshore trusts in the Channel Islands, Malta, Liechtenstein and Bermuda. According to documents from the ParadisePapers leak in 2017 of documents relating to offshore accounts, Mr Rainsford is a director of a Malta-based shareholder of Emuse, Noster Ventures.
As per the Swiss leaks, all offshore companies which form part of the Reliance Industries Ltd offshore corporate structure were set up by Walfenzao on April 13, 2005. Walfenzao is president of The Corpag Group, a fiduciary management expert which specialises in setting up trusts and tax-exempt vehicles in offshore jurisdictions.
Companies have side-stepped some of the laws by operating from the Reserve which is still on the territory of the country, and some of the most trusted of offshore companies that are licensed by the Malta Gambling Authority and the UK GamblingCommission actually support online casinos in Canada just like ConquerCasino.
... they conducted enhanced customer due diligence when dealing with Minister Mizzi and Mr Schembri; why they chose not to set up the trusts in Malta, whether Nexia BT ever backdated any document related to the set-up of offshore structures for Minister Mizzi or Mr Schembri, etc.
More than half of the offshore companies set up by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were registered in the BVI...Offshore finance ... Mizzi set up a secret offshore trust in New Zealand, receiving help from Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri ... He was the only serving EU minister to be found owning an opaque offshore trust.
Trust companies are not required to hold a licence." ... The packs were a combination of New Zealand foreign trusts (which pay no tax on foreign income) and what is described as Look Through Companies (LTCs), which could be owned by the trusts, and which also pay zero tax on offshore earnings, the AFR reported.
It is also said there are some 600 more accounts from Malta in Panama, but the names will only be revealed in May ... But then it would be a trust registered in Malta and not an offshore trust ... The use of an offshore company in Panama and offshore trust is New Zealand qualify as an aggressive tax mitigation.