Vanuatu is a group of appriximatley eighty three (83) islands situated in the South Pacific Ocean. The island nation has a population of about 200,000 people. The official languages spoken in Vanuatu are English and French. The island nation of Vanuatu is an important offshore financial centre which began in 1971. The offshore financial center of Vanuatu provides the following offshore services to clients from around the globe; the incorporation of offshore companies, Vanuatu trust management, offshore banking, the registrations of ships and vessels and electronic gaming. Vanuatu has also grown popular as a tax haven.
Vanuatu can be considered to be one of the tax havens of the world as it provides its clients with tax incentives. Among other factors which make the offshore jurisdiction of Vanuatu a tax haven is the fact that it has banking secrecy laws in place and also provides privacy and confidentiality for its clients.
Tax haven Vanuatu qualifies as a tax haven since it has no taxation regime in place for international companies and offshore companies incorporated in the jurisdiction. These companies will operate tax free in the tax haven of Vanuatu as long as their earnings are accumulated outside of the tax haven. Vanuatu offshore business companies and international companies are prohibited by the laws of the country from partaking in business dealings or conducting business on behalf of residents of tax haven Vanuatu. Vanuatu is a pure tax haven for the simple fact that the offshore jurisdiction has no income or corporate taxes for both residents and foreigners. The tax haven of Vanuatu is also well known for not having the following taxes in place; capitals gains tax, estate tax, withholding tax and gift tax.
International companies and offshore or exempt companies are very easy to incorporate in the tax haven of Vanuatu. Company legislation allows for the formation of flexible business company structures. Offshore companies legislation in Vanuatu makes it possible for only one director and one shareholder to incorporate a company in tax haven Vanuatu. Directors can be a corporate body or a natural person.
The tax haven of Vanuatu provides excellent offshore banking and banking services to private individuals and corporations. Vanuatu offshore banking centre is very active with numerous banks having received license to provide offshore banking services. Vanuatu has a number of international banks’ branches and agents providing services to the public. As a tax haven Vanuatu offshore bank accounts pay no taxes on interests earned.
The privacy provided by the tax haven of Vanuatu is embedded in its legislature. The offshore companies act has strict laws concerning the disclosure of information. According to the act any agent or person who divulges information regarding an offshore company in the tax haven of Vanuatu is liable to be fined. This is regarded as a criminal offense. Further privacy afforded to offshore companies incorporated in Vanuatu is the fact that there is no need to reveal the names of the beneficial owners of companies to the authorities. The names of the company’s owners and directors do not appear on the incorporation documents therefore this does not become public knowledge since it was not filed with the public registry. Nominee directors and shareholders can be used for incorporation which can be additional protection for the beneficial owners. The director of an offshore company in tax haven Vanuatu can be a corporation as well.
Exempt companies and international companies in the tax haven of Vanuatu can maintain its financial privacy which is one of the stipulations of the offshore companies act. Exempt companies and international companies incorporated in the tax haven of Vanuatu are not obligated to prepare and present financial records to any authority in the offshore jurisdiction. The financial records are prepared for the use of the company and are most commonly used for showing the financial position of these companies in the tax haven of Vanuatu.
Vanuatu also provides privacy for the holders of offshore bank accounts in the tax haven. Any person or corporate body who divulges information in offshore bank accounts or concerning Vanuatu offshore bank account holders will be punished. This is according to offshore banking legislation of the offshore jurisdiction. Individuals will be liable to pay a fine of US$ 50,000 and or a prison term of no more than two (2) years. Corporations can be charged up to $250,000.
The government of the tax haven of Vanuatu is committed to developing the offshore financial centre of the jurisdiction for this a number of modern laws have been passed to support the regulation of offshore banks and companies in the jurisdiction. Another favorable condition in the tax haven of Mauritius for offshore and exempt companies and bank account holders is the absence of exchange control in the jurisdiction enabling the movement of large sums of monies.