The Beginning of the End of Secretly Stashing Wealth in Switzerland – Cyprus the Remaining Safe Haven

The wealthy populations of the future with greedier intentions will always look back to October 2018 and wonder how the rich had it easy before that time. If you were rich enough, you could sneak mountains of wealth right under the nose of your government and your country, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Such was the impregnable protection of the Swiss banks. However, the Swiss secrecy has finally succumbed to years of constant pressure from the world at large.

On Friday The Federal Tax administration, acting under the Ministry of Finance, for the first time, shared the data and details of over 2 million accounts with other nations. These included the members of The EU (except Cyprus and Romania), and other countries like:

      • Canada
      • Guernsey
      • Iceland
      • Isle of Man
      • Japan
      • Jersey
      • Norway
      • South Korea

The same would also be shared with France and Australia as soon as they share the data from their side. This is just the beginning as by 2019 the number of countries having access to Swizz data can be as high as 80. This is a part of a mutual agreement to exchange the data by these countries. An exception to the government peeping on your wealth is still offered to the citizens in Switzerland for their bank accounts within the country.

The channel of information is initiated at the banks and other financial institutions involved in wealth management which then submit all required details to the FTA. Organizations like the OECD and EU have left no stone unturned to ensure that nothing can be hidden any longer. The names, addresses including the country of domicile, Tax-IDs, the specifics of the account like the balance, date of commencement etc., everything has been pulled out from dark corners to be under open skies.

The Place of Cyprus in All the Mayhem

Under constant global pressure, the number of safe havens for people who seek additional privacy and safety is rapidly crashing. There are only a handful of countries which continue to provide absolute privacy to individuals.

As aforementioned Cyprus is only one of the two EU members who doesn’t have access to the data shared by the Swiss FTA. There is a clear and simple reason for this because Cyprus refuses to bend down and share the data of its own account holders breaching their privacy.

Of all the countries left which offer such privacy and safety to store one’s assets, Cyprus is like no other. Countries like Romania my offer some privacy but they are no match when it comes to the state of the economy, modern infrastructure, and extremely skilled personnel available in Cyprus. It offers a one of a kind combination of opportunities which can’t even be found in jurisdictions like Singapore and Hong Kong.

Despite its firm stand on data privacy, Cyprus is a member of both the EU and the OECD White-list which none of the competing jurisdictions can match. This has been possible because Cyprus is not a tax-haven but a low-tax jurisdiction meeting all requirements of OECD and EU regarding transparency and legitimacy. Furthermore, there can hardly be a jurisdiction with simpler corporates laws than Cyprus. Incorporating a company in Cyprus is an extremely straightforward process and can be accomplished within a couple of weeks and in a matter of few days with payment of an express fee.

Corporate tax is 12.5% and there are 55 double tax treaties offering ample protection from double taxation in dual jurisdictions. There’s no capital gain tax on disposing of an immovable property outside the jurisdiction of the country. There’s no tax of any sort on liquidation of a company owned by a non-resident. There’s also provision for a company to carry the losses forward for immediate five years for set-off. A corporate entity can transfer its domicile without incurring any tax liability at all. Finally, there is no tax on inheritances or gifts. More on Cyprus taxes here.

The geographical location offers proximity to enormous trade zones of Asia, Europe and Middle-East. Crime is virtually non-existence. Most people speak at least functional English and the human development index is extremely high.

There is no reason to not consider Cyprus when thinking about finding new shores for your trade or business. Read all about why Cyprus should be your first choice to incorporate your company. For professional advice from a Cyprus Lawfirm please contact us here.