Long heralded as one of the world’s key financial centers, The Bahamas is experiencing a fresh resurgence among global investors. The nation improved its ranking on the Global Financial Centers Index (28) by no less than 36 places to land at spot number 69, also ranked second best of Latin American and Caribbean. On 18 December 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) cleared The Bahamas from its list of jurisdictions under ‘Increased Monitoring’, commonly known as the grey list.
The FATF praised and congratulated The Bahamas for the great progress made in improving its AML/CFT regime. This global standard-setting body is the bona fide watchdog tracking global money laundering and terrorist financing. They cover more than 200 countries and have 39 members, such as: the European Commission, the UK, the USA, Canada, China, France, Russia, Singapore and Switzerland.
What does The Bahamas have, which makes it so successful?
In the context of the jurisdiction actively being part of the world stage and taking a cooperative stance, we must transition away from the pirate-inspired subconscious bias of the word ‘haven’. Instead, the theme is wanting the world to live here. A type of open Atlantic Singapore.
The Bahamas is blessed with its unique geographic location that offers freedom of life and of financial burden. The peninsula to the right half of the picture originally taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is Florida, and to the left, Cuba. The turquoise represents the nation of islands, some private and some public.
Bahamian citizens and residents are free from taxes on the following:
The product proudly on display is this freedom, in tandem with parliamentary democracy going for 302 years and an unwavering commitment to common law with the final court of appeal being Her Majesty’s Privy Council.
Come here. Free your life. The question is how to relocate.
The year 2020 and the wake of coronavirus brought a global exodus away from packed cities. Remote working has worked extraordinarily well. So much so, that we now question the reason for living in proximity to one’s office building (in a taxed jurisdiction). In the vast majority of cases with free, widespread video conferencing, the internet brings you more than close enough.
Economic Permanent Residency
There is a flexible and streamlined process for granting international investors desiring permanent residency in The Bahamas. The primary requirement is the purchase of a property valued in excess of $750,000.00.
Permanent residents may bring their own personal assistants or house-staff along with them. However, the right to work is not automatically granted, but is available to those who possess a family office arrangement, or who wish to manage investments or businesses not directly impacting the Bahamian economy. Like with many countries, the right to vote is reserved for citizens.
Note that foreign citizens and Bahamian permanent residents can own as much real estate in The Bahamas as desired, with no restrictions. Visit https://www.immigration.gov.bs/permits-and-residencies/permanent-residence/ for more information on getting started.
For a much simpler approach, consider contacting Deltec Bank & Trust. They can guide you through the entire process, including finding a home and all other logistics pertinent to relocating.
First-Class Asset Protection
Long associated with traditional private banking, the jurisdiction is known for its strict banking confidentiality laws. Many wealth planning professionals call The Bahamas home, although Deltec provides a range of domestic or international partners depending on client preferences.
The bedrock within any trust vehicle is asset protection, which is why The Bahamas has an explicit asset protection trust. This is a financial vehicle holding a client’s assets with the purpose of shielding them from creditors so long as the client had no intention to defraud or became insolvent by settling the trust. This offers the strongest protection in guarding your family, your estate and your profession.
The statute of limitations is world-leading at two years, highlighting the jurisdiction’s commitment to asset stability. The respective limitation periods of similar vehicles made in Cayman, Bermuda or Anguilla are six, six and three years.
A multitude of vehicles, foundations and trust structures are available to Bahamian residents and non-residents. No one family is the same, which is why it is crucial to mention that The Bahamas can effectively handle any holistic case.
The world became a small place in 1939 when Pan Am’s first commercial transatlantic flight, using a Boeing B-314, took off from Port Washington (Long Island, New York) bound for Lisbon and Marseille. It became a much smaller place in 1989 with the invention of the World Wide Web by Sir Berners-Lee.
What is the word to use for 2020? COVID-19 mandated the necessity of remote working and video conferencing, thereby superseding not only the plane, but the car and train. Large domestic cities, some dubbed as ‘urban sprawls’, all of a sudden seemed unnecessary evils. An astute professional’s work address now need not have the same country as their home address.
For a global citizen of wide interests, the key takeaway to ask is: how much can I benefit from making The Bahamas my primary residence?
Disclaimer: The author of this text, Paul Winder, has a career that spans over 25 years in the financial services sector with emphasis on creating products and services in the international tax treaty and estate planning arena. Paul is a recognized leader whose vision and operational expertise have proven invaluable. Paul is Head of Fiduciary Products & Markets at Deltec Bank & Trust and MD of Deltec Fund Services.
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