Country code – KN
Legal basis – Common law
Legal framework – Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance 1994 (As amended)
Formal name – International Exempt Trust
Restrictions - Properties must not be situated in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Settlor – The settlor is the person who establishes and whose assets are put into the trust. The settlor of an International Exempt Trust in Nevis may also be the beneficiary of those assets and may retain control of the trust. An international trust is not invalidated because of the subsequent bankruptcy of the settlor.
Trustee – Trustees are natural or legal persons who hold the title to the assets and manage the trust, but they cannot benefit from it. At least one trustee is mandatory.
One of the trustees must either be a corporation formed under the Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance or a trust company conducting business in Nevis. Only charitable purpose trusts are allowed to have more than four trustees. Where more than one trustee is required by the trust’s terms, having fewer trustees than stated does not invalidate the trust.
Corporate Trustees may operate by resolution or through resolutions of the board of directors and may exercise the power to appoint officers to act on its behalf.
Custodian trustees are not permitted.
Trustee Liability – A trust deed’s provision may limit the liability of a trustee, or provide relief or indemnity.
Beneficiaries – Beneficiaries are those who get benefit from the trust. There are specific provisions to prevent beneficiaries from draining the trust of its assets and spending in a thrifty way. International Trusts allows avoiding both probate and forced heirship rules.
Protector – The protector is a person who is the holder of a power which when invoked is capable of directing, providing consent to or disapproving a trustee’s actual or proposed investment decisions, distribution decisions or other decisions of the trustee in matters relating to the trust and in respect of which matters the trustee has discretion and includes a person who is the holder of a power to appoint or dismiss trustees.
Protectors are mandatory whenever the trust has a non-charitable purpose, and optional in the case trusts settled for the benefit of someone.
Trust deed – The private document on which the trust is drafted is not needed to be filed with the Registrar.
Disclosure - Privacy and confidentiality are protected by The Confidential Relationships Act.
Protection from foreign judgments – The International Exempt Trust act provides specific provisions to ignore and not enforce judgments. The Hague Convention on Trusts does not apply in Nevis.
Protection from creditors – The International Exempt Trust Act repeals the Statute of Elizabeth, so transfers by the settlor to the trust may not be set aside if the settlor transferred the property before the debt arose. The creditor must prove the fraudulent transfer of assets to the trust, which is clearly defined by the law. Creditor claims are separated and cannot be brought jointly. If a fraudulent transfer is proven, the trust may not be declared invalid.
Protection for immigrant trusts – Trusts that migrate from other jurisdictions do not benefit from retroactive protection.
Community property – Community properties transferred to a Nevis international trust may retain its community property character. It is also possible to preserve the separate property status of assets held before marriage in a community property state.
Exclusion of foreign law - An international trust or disposition of property held by the trust will not be void, voidable, liable to be set aside or defective by reason that the laws of any foreign jurisdiction prohibit or do not recognize the concept of a trust, or that the laws of Nevis are inconsistent with any foreign law.
Choice of law – The choice of law of Nevis or any other law, to govern the trust or a particular aspect of that trust, is valid, effective and conclusive regardless of any other circumstances.
Duration - Nevis international trusts that have been settled for the benefit of a person can exist for a maximum of 120 years.
Compliance – International trusts are subject to a registration fee and an annual renewal fee.
- Settlor as a beneficiary
- Bankruptcy protection
- Ignore foreign judgements
- Hague convention on trusts
- Choice of law is binding
- Protection from immigrant trusts
- Community property provisions
- Custodian trustee permitted
- Rule against perpetuities (years)
- Yes Specific exclusion of foreign law
- Yes Settlor can retain control
Protection of Settlor
Protection from foreign judgements
- Avoidance of forced heirship
- Spendthrift provisions
- Exclusion of Statute of Elizabeth laws
- Trust invalid if transfer fraudulent
- Creditor must prove fraudulent transfer
- Clear definition of fraudulent transfers
- Separation of creditor claims
- Statutory limitation on fraudulent transfer
Protection of Beneficiary
A trust established in Nevis may not be subject to local taxes applicable to the assets and income of the trust, provided that no residents of Nevis benefit from the trust and no physical assets are located there.
It must be noted that the choice of law of the trust would not be applicable to tax matters, which would be governed by the respective jurisdiction where the settlor, beneficiaries, assets or trustee are located, as applicable.
You should consult with your tax advisor or accountant to know the tax implications in your jurisdiction of residence when establishing a trust in Nevis, transfer assets to it and receive profits from said assets.
- Offshore Income Tax Exemption
- Offshore capital gains tax exemption
- Offshore dividends tax exemption
- CFC Rules
- Thin Capitalisation Rules
- Patent Box
- Tax Incentives & Credits
- Property Tax
- Wealth tax
- Estate inheritance tax
- Transfer tax
- Capital duties
- - Offshore Income Tax Rate
- - Corporate Tax Rate
- 0% Capital Gains Tax Rate
- 0% Dividends Received
- 0% Dividends Withholding Tax Rate
- 0% Interests Withholding Tax Rate
- 0% Royalties Withholding Tax Rate
- 0 Losses carryback (years)
- 0 Losses carryforward (years)
- 0% Personal Income Tax Rate
- 17% VAT Rate
- 36 Tax Treaties
Nevis is a Caribbean island located in the Windward Islands, in the Antilles. Along with the island of Saint Kitts, it constitutes the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis. An independent sovereignty country, member of the Commonwealth and the CARICOM.
Saint Kitts & Nevis is the smallest country in the Americas, both in size and population. With an area of 261 sq. km and a population of 54,961 inhabitants. Its capital and the most populated city is Basseterre, in Saint Cristopher. Its official language is English. Its legal tender currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD), which has a fixed exchange rate with the dollar at 2.7: 1.
Being an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Saint Kitts and Nevis has a stable political and financial system.
The head of state of the islands is the British monarch, who elects a resident Governor-General to represent him in local affairs.
The prime minister is the leader of the majority party of the House, and the cabinet carries out state affairs. St. Kitts and Nevis have a single legislative chamber, known as the National Assembly. It is made up of fourteen members: eleven elected representatives (three from the island of Nevis) and three senators who are appointed by the Governor-General. Two of the senators are appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, and another with the advice of the opposition leader.
Unlike other countries, the senators do not constitute a separate chamber of the Senate or upper chamber of the parliament, since they sit in the National Assembly, next to the representatives.
Saint Kitts and Nevis was the last place to practice sugar cane monoculture in the Lesser Antilles. But because the sugar industry was increasingly struggling to make a profit, the government decided to eliminate the large-scale sugar cane production and carry out a diversification program for the farming sector and stimulate the development of other sectors of the economy, particularly tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore financial services. The issue of postage stamps, mainly for philatelic collecting, is also an important source of income for its economy.
Saint Kitts and Nevis also offers a citizenship by investment program. Through a donation to the Sustainable Growth Fund or an investment in Real Estate, a foreigner would become a St Kitts and Nevis citizen and obtain a passport with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 136 countries (including South America and European Union).
Please, contact us to request a free, no obligation consultation.