Tax optimization is a key consideration for today’s wealthy international nomads. Caribbean Residency and Citizenship by Investment (RCBI) programmes offer paths to becoming a Caribbean tax resident. They provide the chance to make major tax savings.
Eric Major is our Executive Chairman. Part of his role is heading up our Government Advisory services and Eric is a frequent visitor to the Caribbean region. Who better to advise you on how to become a tax resident there?
“They’re very tax-friendly. Anguilla, an Eastern Caribbean island, was mindful of its five regional neighbors successfully attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to their shores through their Citizenship by Investment programmes. As a British Overseas Territory, however, they could not issue passports because they have no power to grant citizenship as they are beholden to the UK Home Office.”
“Anguilla first reached out to Thomas Anthony, who had worked in Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Unit. His advice to them was “call Eric Major, as he has lots of experience in these matters.” At the time, I was living in the Channel Islands, in Jersey, which ran a residence programme that successfully attracted a number of families each year to become tax residents.”
“Allow me to establish from the outset, I am not a tax expert. Nobody at Latitude Group claims to be. But we’re often asked by clients: “What’s the product? What’s the deliverable?”
“With Citizenship by Investment, the deliverables are two-fold: (1) a Certificate of Registration, basically a piece of paper conferring citizenship, and (2) a passport, a small book that confers travel privileges.”
“Anguilla Residency by Investment delivers two deliverables as well. Investors receive a Taxpayer Information Number (TIN) and a Certificate of Tax Compliance issued by the Government of Anguilla. If you want to open up a bank account anywhere in the world, be it in Hong Kong, Malta, Switzerland, or Canada, they’ll ask you: “Where are you tax resident and what’s your TIN number?””
“We advised Anguilla to carve out a niche for themselves, to offer a programme targeting the international globetrotter who spends very little time anywhere but needs to call somewhere home for tax reasons. It could be a commercial airline pilot, a professional touring sports person like Roger Federer, an international rock star, or a Richard Branson type figure who runs their businesses from all around the world.”
“So, for this clientele, Anguilla offers a High Value Resident Programme. To qualify for it, you have to buy a property on the island that’s worth at least $400,000. You also have to pay €75,000 in annual worldwide tax to Anguilla’s Treasury.”
“You also have to demonstrate other connections and badges of residency, such as having a local drivers’ licence, and owning a local bank account on the island. Tax authorities here, there, and everywhere want to be assured that you have a genuine nexus to Anguilla if you claim tax residency there.”
“You will need to spend preferably 90 days or more on the island, and you must declare that you are not spending 183 days or more anywhere else. You have to sign a letter attesting to this to satisfy the Anguilla tax resident criteria.”
“All the Eastern Caribbean countries will consider you a tax resident if you spend over 183 days there. The question is how do you acquire the right to be there 6 months or more, as you would otherwise need a visa or citizenship to do so.”
“The Citizenship by Investment programmes of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia offer more than a passport. They offer you the right of settlement on these islands. So Caribbean citizenship also allows you to move there and establish tax residency on these islands, at 0% tax rate.”
“All of these Caribbean countries say, “If you actually pack your bags and spend more than 183 days on our island, you don’t pay tax.” Every Caribbean CBI client that RIF Trust has signed up has the legal right to move to the region. If they were so bold to do so, they would have the best tax regime in the world with 0% income and wealth tax in most jurisdictions.”
“Within the trend of a growing segment of international and wealthy nomads, it’s to have a new and exciting lifestyle experience. Residency in Portugal or in Spain is a cool thing, even if not for tax reasons, for adventure. Imagine spreading your life around four jurisdictions every year.”
“Covid taught us that we don’t have to run our businesses from a skyscraper in Manhattan to be successful. We can do so from a laptop and good wifi, sunning ourselves at a beachside villa in Anguilla. Or from the Moon Gate Spa & Hotel in Antigua and Barbuda.”
“You can spend your summers in the likes of Canada, the United States, and the UK. To beat a bleak midwinter, you can head to the Caribbean. It’s a case of having your cake and eating it.”
“You should seek advice and talk to firms like RIF Trust. Many of us in the company have actually lived on these islands. We’ve raised families there.”
“Very few firms have that first-hand knowledge. We can also introduce you to tax advisors in the Caribbean. Another thing is that it’s important to make a clean exit from the tax jurisdiction you’re leaving.”
“Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) are all well and good but you’ll end up paying a higher rate of tax when sometimes you don’t have to. To avoid tripping over the wires, it’s about where you’re not as much as where you are. As a Caribbean tax resident, you can make major tax savings.”
Which Caribbean RCBI should you choose? Anguilla Residency by Investment or Citizenship by Investment in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, or St Lucia? To make the most informed decision, don’t delay and contact RIF Trust, the world’s number-one investment migration consultants, today.