Henry Fea, a partner in the private client team and head of the Geneva office at Charles Russell, discusses recent developments affecting offshore jurisdictions and their clients.
Earlier this year, the comedian Jimmy Carr became the public face of tax-dodging when it emerged that he used a Cayman Islands-based trust to lower his income tax bill. Attacks on wealth and tax havens is currently the biggest issue facing high net worth individuals. As the debate rolls on and reaches global levels foreign investors are looking to move their money but it is important to understand the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance.
Over the last 25 years enormous wealth has been created with more millionaires now than ever before. At the same time, most of the world is facing economic difficulties and austerity measures and some are experiencing civil unrest. This has left many wealthy individuals feeling threatened.
Entrepreneurs and their families are used to dealing with creditors, divorcing spouses or other family members but there is increased concern about the challenges from governments, whether through tax or other measures.