Tax avoidance laws changing across the world have made sheltering money offshore a risky venture – but some countries still offer low taxes for expats.
Financial firm Bradley Hackford has looked around the globe and pinpointed the top 10 least taxed countries based on tax, lifestyle, economic and political security and packages to attract expats.
So, if you are looking to uproot for a low tax lifestyle, especially in an idyllic paradise, here are some of the best places to consider:
- Bahamas – Close to the USA and with zero rated personal taxes. Expats can apply for residence by buying property for £295,000
- Andorra – Snuggling between France and Spain in The Pyrenees, expats pay personal taxes at a rate between 0% and 10%, while residence involves investing £80,000 and putting £40,000 savings on deposit
- Monaco – Bordering France and Italy on the Mediterranean, property is expensive even for the rich and prospective expats need to show significant wealth. Only French expats pay income tax in a deal with the French government.
- Bulgaria – Offers an attractive 10% personal tax rate to expats. For expats from outside the European Union, residency offers unrestricted EU travel. The downside is a £400,000 five-year bond has to be deposited in state bonds.
- Panama – Only local income is taxed. Offshore earnings are exempt from tax. A popular destination for US retirees due to close ties, good health facilities and links with the dollar
- Mauritius – Buying property for £300,000 starts the residency process. Popular with French expats as the island is French-speaking. Personal taxes are charged at 15%
- United Arab Emirates – Expat-owned companies and expats pay no tax
- Guernsey – Companies pay no tax while individuals pay up to 20% income tax with a limit of £220,000. A short hop from France and the UK.
- Cayman Islands – No tax for companies or individuals and special residency deals for expats starting businesses
- Switzerland – Nestling in the middle of Europe with all the benefits of the European Union but no membership, Switzerland is a favourite destination for the wealthy. The government lets expats pay a flat rate personal tax without declaring their income
While all these destinations offer low tax and lifestyle advantages to expats, they are all in the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) tax net and will report the balances of bank accounts and investments of US citizens to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).