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Bank On The Rock

1024 683 Octopus International Business Services Ltd


Monkeys… that’s the usual thing that springs to mind when you mention The Rock of Gibraltar to most people in the UK… and the amusing antics of the 300 Macques are certainly a tourist attraction, but the Macques are not what brings business to Gibraltar – it’s the 10% Corporation tax rate introduced in January 2011 for companies that have a physical presence here.

There are a number of jurisdictions in Europe that have the 10% rate, but none that also have the added advantage of not being in the VAT zone. This has encouraged many companies to re-locate their service type businesses to Gibraltar – add a dash of sunshine, a dip in the Mediterranean Sea and Gibraltar is hard to beat. Couple that with a highly educated, multinational staff base attracted here initially by the explosion of international gaming companies, and Gibraltar ticks all the boxes.

Many software development companies, web design and maintenance operations, marketing specialists, logistic planners and online marketers take advantage of the low corporation tax. Gaming, gambling, Insurance and financial companies have also relocated to Gibraltar over the last few years – all require licencing by the Financial Services Commission, but the climate is encouraging for experienced and professional management teams.

The increase in companies setting up in Gibraltar has also had a knock on effect on the local economy, boosting the property market for both commercial and residential property, and finding a sensibly priced office or apartment can be a challenge, but weigh that against the low tax and no vat regime and Gibraltar continues to thrive.

Many high net worth individuals (HNWIs) have also been attracted to take residency in Gibraltar due to the enticing CAT2 resident option. HNWIs who can demonstrate a wealth, including property, in excess of two million pounds can apply for the CAT 2 residency status. Qualifying includes the purchase or rental of approved property in Gibraltar, a personal reference from a bank, accountant or lawyer, along with a few standard documents and once approved, CAT2’s can cap their personal income tax to as little as £30,000 per annum. With property still booming many HNWIs have taken the decision to buy rather than rent, and luxury property developments have sprung up all over the rock.

Another residency option is the High Executive Possessing Specialist Skills (HEPPS) – if approved a HEPPS professional only pays personal income tax on his first £120,000 per annum, which equates to approximately £32,000 per year. Like the CAT2, a HEPPS has to buy or rent approved value property in Gibraltar. But the largest number of companies incorporated in Gibraltar every year are still the non-operating, not physically present companies – still referred to locally as “non-resident” companies. These companies pay no corporation tax in Gibraltar as they do not derive or accrue their income here, neither do they normally need to charge VAT on their invoices, although that may depend on where they do operate from, but this option is still a very popular choice for many tax planners, where they usually incorporate a holding element.

It has to be said that as an experienced corporate service provider, licenced in Gibraltar, one aspect of operating in Gibraltar that has grown more and more difficult over the years has been the change in attitudes of the banks here. Many of the main high street banks have closed their doors to commercial business and have turned their attentions to investment banking only, leaving a massive detrimental hole in the framework of Gibraltar – however in April 2015 the new Gibraltar International Bank opened its doors for business. Owned by the Government of Gibraltar, and opened with the intention of filling that hole, offering local people and businesses an opportunity to bank commercially again. As a corporate service provider looking to assist business people, we are hopeful that the GIBank will allow more clients to be able to “Bank on Gibraltar” for a variety of reasons.


The Isle of Man as a Wealth Management Centre

1024 576 Wealth Management Services

Peel Castle

Many readers may be familiar with the Isle of Man as a centre for motor-racing i.e. the famous ‘TT’ races or Manx Kippers! You may even be familiar with its Loaghtan sheep or award winning cheeses but how many of you will realise that the Isle of Man is one of the top 5 centres for space commerce or that it has a thriving eCommerce and eGaming industry or recognise it as a top centre for Wealth Management?

Well, it is pleasing to be able to say that, while the Island was relatively late into the financial services boom of the middle and late 20th Century – seeing the benefits of such only shortly before the creation of the digital world that we now know, it’s relatively recent development has had a significant advantage: the Island did not base its growth on an ‘old world’ economic model but took some inspired decisions early on in the age of the digital evolution or, for many of us, a digital ‘revolution’ i.e. the 1990s and 2000s, that have provided a sound, leading-edge platform for much commercial opportunity and wealth creation & management.

The Isle of Man has benefited by virtue of needing to differentiate itself from the other financial centres that grew up in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. As a UK Crown Dependency, located just off the North West coast of England, it has benefitted from the physical location as the closest Crown Dependency to the City of London and the UK finance sector and has been a conduit of much business to the United Kingdom, from listings on the Stock Exchange, to investment related undertakings such as collective investments or property purchases and commercial undertakings. However, merely replicating what the other finance centres did was not likely to provide long term growth opportunities on a sustainable basis and that was certainly evidenced when we saw the fallout from the recent Great Recession. By identifying some (niche) areas where we could punch above our weight, the Island has enabled real value-added economic development and opportunities for entrepreneurs and professional support services alike.

With a physical location in the centre of the British Isles, occupying an area of c500 square kilometres with a population of only 85,000, the Island is well positioned to provide a secure and accessible location from where we can act as a conduit for investment and business into and within the United Kingdom and the European Union, and, for international trade between Asia and North America. Being part of the ‘Common Purse’ arrangement with the UK enables VAT registration for single point of entry to the EU as a whole. Having significant Ship and Aircraft registers, Space/Satellite licensing ability, and, having an extraordinarily large-capacity and robust digital infrastructure with multiple access points allows the Island to offer the latest IT ‘platform’ to commercial operators, including the eGaming sector.

office site

Alongside the ‘digital’ platform i.e. IT and logistics stands the intellectual property opportunities that we can offer clients. Whether UK entrepreneurs wishing to engage in international commerce, international businesses wishing to trade within the European Union, wealthy individuals and families wishing to ensure a lasting wealth legacy (whether for their families or through charitable foundations etc.), the Isle of Man has a wealth of experienced professionals who can advise upon and structure their clients financial and business requirements, from the simplest to the most complex needs. The professional services sector has been dealing with wealthy individuals, families and corporate businesses for decades and the Island’s links with The City of London has ensured that our connections, knowledge and experience spans all areas of wealth creation and retention, whether physical property, in terms of homes, yachts, aeroplanes, intellectual property, in terms of copyright ownership etc, or the areas of family trusts, foundations and other structuring needs or (possibly) more mundane matters such as pensions and financial planning.

The Island has had to be nimble in its approach and has benefitted from a government that has been both proactive and supportive of business and wealth creation, whilst ensuring best practice in terms of adoption and adherence to international legal and taxation standards and professional expectations.

Our door is open to all-comers, large and small, mainstream and niche. We merely seek to offer professional solutions and adopt best practice in fulfilling our clients’ worthy and legitimate needs.

Whatever your financial or business interests and requirements, do take a little time to enquire how we may be able to assist you in your endeavours and see what we may be able to achieve together.

Wilton Wealth Management is an independent team of highly skilled financial advisers. Our fee based planners are experienced in all aspects of advanced wealth management, analysing complex situations and implementing solutions globally. They manage the financial affairs of a range of clients from professionals to individuals with significant family wealth.

The team will work with you to understand your lifestyle, goals, timeframes and financial requirements. Only then will they put a strategy in place to help you to achieve your overall objectives.

We work hard to create long-term relationships. Our ethos is to provide a service that is transparent and focused on tangible outcomes. We will meet you on a regular basis to track your progress and review your planning. If your goals change, as they often do, we will work with you to ensure the strategy changes as well.



Malta: What Are The International Tax Planning Opportunities? Part 3

1024 1008 Ciantar Associates


In Part 1 of our overview of Malta’s tax system, we looked briefly at what Malta can offer when considering tax planning for your clients.

In Part 2, we examined some of those benefits in more detail.

Now, in our final part, we take a look at reliefs and investment incentives.

Relief From Tax Suffered Abroad

Besides the refund system which we have just discussed, Malta also has a number of mechanisms of relief from tax suffered abroad on foreign income. Thus income brought into Malta from dividends, interests, or royalties which have suffered tax at source can claim this tax by way of relief from Malta’s tax due.


In certain situations where it might not be possible to prove that tax has been suffered abroad, or even in situations where no tax has been suffered abroad, it is possible to apply what is known as the flat rate foreign tax credit (FRFTC), whereby a relief is applied on a notional tax rate suffered abroad even if that income has not suffered any tax at all.


This type of relief can also be applied where tax has been suffered abroad and it is deemed more beneficial to use the FRFTC as in the two examples shown above.

Investment Incentives
Besides tax advantages the Maltese Government also gives a number of extremely beneficial investment incentives for companies wishing to invest in Malta. All investment incentives have been incorporated under one authority in order to streamline operations and to remove any bureaucracy. In fact It is now possible for investors to know to which benefits they are entitled in a very short span of time. The main incentives can be listed under the following categories:

Investment Aid
Companies engaged in specific activities can benefit from tax credits on capital investment and job creation.

SME Development
Grants targeting the creation and development of innovative start-ups, and the development of forward looking small and medium-sized enterprises.

R&D and Innovation
Various incentives will be offered to stimulate innovative enterprises to engage in research & development.

Access to Finance
Companies may be assisted through loan guarantees, soft loans, loan interest subsidies or royalty financing in the case of highly innovative projects.

Enterprise Support
Assistance to businesses to support them in developing their international competitiveness, improving their processes and networking with other businesses.

Employment and Training
These incentives are administered by the Employment & Training Corporation. Enterprises are supported in recruiting new employees and training their staff.

Multinational companies and individuals seeking to lower costs and increase the return on their investment should seriously consider Malta in their international tax planning structure.

Malta encourages foreign investment and the Government has made it his goal to make Malta a financial centre of excellence within the EU. With this in mind bureaucracy has been reduced to a minimum and all efforts are being made to make the move to Malta as simple and cost effective as possible.

All related services have been grouped under one authority to improve efficiency and cut on bureaucracy and all professionals involved in the financial sector are heavily regulated and monitored to ensure a high level of professional service.