Top 10 Tax Havens
What the Panama Papers have exposed is just the tip of the iceberg. According to an estimate, Bharatiyas have invested some $500 billion in tax havens overseas
- Cayman Islands: The Cayman Islands is one of the five largest offshore financial centers worldwide, providing services such as banking, trusts, and incorporation of companies. There is no concept of income tax, corporate tax, estate or inheritance tax, as well as gift tax, capital gains tax, making it a pure tax haven. There is no taxation of international business companies, and offshore companies are not taxed on income earned abroad. Overseas companies also do not have to pay stamp duty on asset transfers.
There are no exchange controls in the Caymans restricting money transfers in any way. Company incorporation is a very simple, streamlined process in the Caymans Islands.
Caymans Islands have very strict banking laws. Foreign corporations in the Caymans are not required to submit financial reports to any Caymans government authority.
- British Virgin Islands: The British Virgin Islands—a self-governing, stable British Crown Colony is an important centre for offshore business activities. It is a group of about 50 islands situated in the Eastern Caribbean. The English common law prevails here. There is no gift tax, sales tax, profit tax, inheritance tax, estate duty or corporation tax.
- Panama: Panama is a pure tax haven which offers a tax-free environment to clients. The Republic of Panama is the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita income generator in Central America. There is no income, dividend and capital gains tax for income received outside of Panama. Hence, Panamanian corporations are widely used for doing business and holding assets outside Panama. There are also no tax treaties making it obligatory for it to the exchange of tax-related information with countries. Panama offers a broad range of services to clients like the Company incorporation, offshore banking, formation of Panama Foundations and Trusts as well as Insurance of boats and vessels.
People from any nationality can incorporate a company in Panama. They just need to have three directors, one shareholder and a company secretary for incorporation. Panama’s banking laws are geared to protect the offshore bank account holders. Panamanian banks are prohibited from disclosing information regarding offshore bank accounts which is classified as confidential.
- Bahamas: It is one of the most popular tax havens for residents of the United States and European countries. The Bahamas provides offshore banking, registration of foreign companies, registration of ships and offshore trust management. Foreign companies registered here are not required to submit any accounting records to tax authorities. The fact that corporations can be recorded here for as little as $1,000, and companies can trade stock exchanges free from capital gains taxes, is enough temptation for anyone to avoid. The tax burden in the Bahamas is one of the lowest in the world. There is no income tax, no corporate income tax, no capital gains tax, no inheritance tax, and no value-added tax.
- Seychelles: Located in the Indian Ocean, the Republic of Seychelles is made up of approximately one hundred and fifteen (115) islands. Seychelles has made a name for itself as an offshore jurisdiction that offers offshore banking, the incorporation of foreign companies or International Business Companies (IBCs), investment fund management, insurance and the registration of vessels and ships besides being a tax haven of choice for many corporations and individuals. Setting up an offshore bank account in tax haven Seychelles is hassle free. There is no reason to travel to Seychelles when setting up an offshore bank account in the tax haven
The government of Seychelles has invested a lot in the country to make it the tax haven that it is today. The laws which govern the offshore tax haven of Seychelles provide asset protection, reduction of tax liabilities, privacy, and confidentiality for individuals and corporations.
Setting up a company is very easy in Seychelles. There are very little restrictions placed on offshore companies. Seychelles allows for the shareholder and director of an offshore company in Seychelles to be the same person making management easier.
- Niue: Niue a small, self-governing state offers total secrecy and anonymity. There is no minimum or maximum capital requirements as well as filing annual returns, financial statements or disclose the names of owners of companies incorporated here. Likewise, there is no obligation to hold annual general meetings of shareholders or directors. Any business activity or transaction carried out within or outside Niue is fully exempt from taxes.
- Samoa: Located near the equator, Samoa Islands provides an excellent opportunity to form — an International Company (IC) or a Limited Life Company (LLC). A Samoan based offshore company has many advantages over a traditional onshore business.
An offshore company is exempt from paying taxes and auditing requirements. Samoan corporate legislation ensures confidentiality and minimal company formation requirements. A registered company should have designated agent based in Samoa.
- Anguilla: Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean Sea, east of Puerto Rico. Anguilla is a traditional tax haven, having no capital gains, estate, profit or other forms of tax on an individual or corporation. This makes Anguilla an attractive location for financial services professionals
The Offshore Banking Act of 2005 prohibits all bank employees or agents in Anguilla from disclosing any financial information without the express consent of the account holders.
- Nevada: Have you wondered why Apple's business is headquartered in California, but managed in Nevada? Why? Because California has a corporate tax rate of 8.84%, while Nevada has no corporate tax rate. Apple is not alone. Many other subsidiaries of Microsoft, Charles Schwab, and Harley-Davidson — 300,000 active corporations and LLCs are enjoying the tax holiday in Nevada
Nevada is on every list of the top tax havens. The Panama Papers show how the U.S. state has become a favored destination rivaling the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. Nevada has fewer taxes and a lower tax burden than in most other countries.
- Hong Kong: Located in China’s Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading tax havens offering offshore incorporation of companies, registration of boats, insurance, investment management among other services. Hong Kong is one of the world’s fastest growing tax havens and second largest stock exchange in Asia after Tokyo. It ranks third in equities and initial public offerings and hosts a broad range of financial services players.