The trust system in the British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands trust law is based predominantly on English trust law but has developed beyond English law to permit purpose trusts, extend the perpetuity period to 100 years and most notably to create the unique VISTA trust.
Components and general features
Registration requirements: There is no requirement for the registration of trusts in the British Virgin Islands.
Settlor: The Settlor does not need to be a permanent resident of the British Virgin Islands.
Beneficiary: The Beneficiary does not need to be a permanent resident of the British Virgin Islands.
Trustee: There is no requirement for the trustee to be licensed or resident in British Virgin Islands.
Protector: The appointment of a Protector is optional.
Perpetuity period: The maximum duration of trusts in the British Virgin Islands is 360 years, except for Charitable Trust – unlimited in duration.
Property: There is no restriction on the property of a British Virgin Islands Trust.
Confidentiality: As there are no registration requirements for a trust in the British Virgin Islands the details of the Settlor and Beneficiaries are not disclosed to any person other than the Trustee.
Taxation: Trusts in the British Virgin Islands are exempt from taxation if all the beneficiaries are non-British Virgin Islands residents. Distributions to beneficiaries from a British Virgin Islands Trust are not taxable in the British Virgin Islands in the hands of the beneficiaries.
Asset protection: There is no specific legislation providing asset protection for trusts in the British Virgin Islands.
Reporting requirements: There are no reporting requirements for a trust in the British Virgin Islands.
Further information on these alternative structures is available on request.
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