Global tax transparency - how are we impacted in Asia?
This time last year, many people within the wealth management industry were sceptical about the global adoption of tax transparency. However, 2013 has seen a number of developments that have changed their thinking, says Amicorp Group's Peter Golovsky, managing director and global head of private clients, and Eric Boes, international tax specialist.
What global tax transparency means for wealth managers
As more and more countries sign up to FATCA and inter-governmental agreements, clients need to realise that their data will not be kept secret, said panel members at Hubbis' Wealth Planning Forum 2013 in Singapore in early November. While most wealth management firms are not qualified to give tax advice, they should encourage clients to speak to specialists.
Consequences of the rapid pace of regulatory change
As the international regulatory playing field levels out, firms will have no choice but to comply, and the industry will become a fairer place. But the changes are raising a number of concerns among clients relating to the privacy and security of their personal data.
The need for wealth structuring in Asia
Asia's expanding ranks of high net worth and ultra-high net worth families are increasingly reaching out to specialists for advice on structuring their wealth - for a variety of different reasons.
UK tax announcements impact Asian investors
Asian investors in the region must take note of the UK's Autumn Statement, which could cause them to reconsider what they put in their real estate portfolio.
Why Singapore is a top choice for structuring
Woon Hum Tan, partner, trust, asset & wealth management at Shook Lin & Bok in Singapore, explains how Singapore is becoming an attractive and viable centre for wealth structuring - both for Asian and European investors. For clients looking to evade taxes, Singapore is not an option. But setting up an offshore structure in Singapore can still offer a number of other attractive benefits.
Weighty consequences for clients with US connections
There are many wealthy individuals in Asia with US citizenship or green card holder status. When thinking about wealth planning and structuring, US tax and information reporting considerations need to be taken into account - but shouldn't become the tail that wags the dog, says Jay Krause, partner and head of wealth planning, Asia, at Withers.
The rise of 'intelligent onshore' centres
Having a robust legal system and fair application of the law is crucial if a jurisdiction is to serve as a centre for wealth structuring, says Christiaan de Bruyn, director of trust services at Trident Trust in Hong Kong. On top of this, having a network of double tax agreements can be very attractive for clients looking to minimise their tax burden.
The do's and don'ts of international planning
Keith Corbin, executive chairman, Nerine Trust, and Melanie Rihoy, director, Nerine Trust, explain which options are available to clients around wealth preservation and protection - and what clients should think about before setting up a structure.
Tax evaders: nowhere to go
According to Michael Olesnicky, partner at Baker & McKenzie, as governments around the world continue to stamp out tax cheats, evaders will find they have nowhere left to go - because for institutions, having clients with questionable tax practices is simply too risky.
Rethinking how to protect confidentiality and privacy
The international push for transparency means that the concepts of confidentiality and privacy are fast disappearing. But this raises questions about whether individuals' data is going to be secure, according to Sean Coughlan, managing director, and Karen O'Hanlon, director of client services at Asiaciti Trust Singapore.
How families with US links can manage the tax burden
Many families in Asia have connections with the US, and therefore face various tax obligations, according to Kurt Rademacher, director, international tax practice, and Brad Westerfield, partner, tax group, at Butler Snow. These families can organise their finances to minimise the tax burden - but this must be done carefully, and in line with the rules.
Guernsey commits to OECD common reporting standard
Guernsey has committed to the early adoption of the next set of OECD measures to tackle tax evasion.
Cayman Islands commits to greater international transparency
The Cayman Islands has signed an agreement with the US that paves the way for automatic exchange of tax information under the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
Bringing value to families in Asia
Mark Smallwood of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management articulates what constitutes a successful wealth planning offering, and explains that it is sometimes necessary to engage specialists from outside of the bank.
Dealing with BVI assets in a person's estate: what you need to know
Omonike Robinson-Pickering of Walkers describes the documentation that may be required in order to deal with BVI assets in a person's estate, how the process may differ depending on the type of will or trust in place, and what executors and administrators need to beware of.
What's on the cards for wealth planners in Hong Kong?
As the wealth in Asia matures, there's a growing need across Asia for holistic wealth planning. But activities that involve dealing with families and investigating their problems require time. And as most banks don't attach a fee for wealth planning services, finding ways to monetise that time can be a challenge. These were some of the views of leading wealth planners in Hong Kong at Hubbis' wealth-planning focused roundtable in early October.
Readying for the transmission of wealth in Asia
Nigel Rivers of TMF Group outlines some key areas that UHNW individuals should - but often fail - to consider in relation to the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next.
Swiss bank shuts down under market and tax pressure
Swiss-based Bank Frey & Co is closing its doors in the wake of increasingly difficult market conditions, ever-growing regulations and the unsustainable requirements that smaller private banks are required to comply with.
What happens to BVI company shares after the shareholder's death
Omonike Robinson-Pickering of Walkers explains the processes that take place when somebody dies and leaves behind shares in a BVI company, outlining the consequences of not having the right succession plans in place - particularly in situations where the deceased is the sole shareholder in the company.
What to do with BVI assets in a person's estate: an introduction
Omonike Robinson-Pickering of Walkers gives an introductory overview of the steps that administrators, executors, and family members should take when dealing with a deceased person's estate that includes BVI property.
What today's regulatory environment means for trustees
Sweeping changes to tax legislation, along with the global push for automatic exchange of information, have had significant implications for firms and individuals in the fiduciary industry. The large number of legacy trusts set up before reforms were introduced now represent a concern for many players, explained wealth planning practitioners at a Hubbis roundtable discussion in Singapore in early October.
How to make the most of trusts
Tan Choon Leng of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP discusses the benefits of using trusts, and explains how trusts often need tailoring and reviewing because every family is unique, and because situations will inevitably change.
Swiss banks to assist US in fight against tax evasion
Switzerland's banking industry has said it is committed to helping shape international standards around tax compliance and transparency.
The importance of planning for the future
Tan Choon Leng of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP outlines why wealth and estate planning is so important today, and discusses some of the common concerns wealthy clients have.
China joins international efforts against tax evasion
China has joined 56 other signatories to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, in a move towards global automatic exchange of information.
Levy on France's UHNW could drive US$1.4 billion a year offshore
Uncertainty surrounding the top tax levy in France, which could be as high as 60%, has prompted a number of ultra-wealthy individuals to leave the country for more liberal tax regimes.
Tax specialist opens office in Singapore
Rawlinson & Hunter, a specialist in financial and taxation advice, has opened an office in Singapore, in a bid to boost its service offering in South-east Asia.
Helping clients plan in a complex world
Jonathan Hubbard, managing director and head of wealth planning for Asia Pacific at UBS Wealth Management, talks to Hubbis about the critical issues clients face today relating to wealth planning and structuring.
Baker & McKenzie bolster tax team in Singapore
Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow, the Singapore member firm of global law firm Baker & McKenzie, has bolstered its tax practice through the appointment of senior associate Dawn Quek to the partnership.