Best Offshore Asset Protection: St Kitts Citizenship and Nevis Trust

Is the civilized world on the warpath against high net worth individuals? Yes, it is. Therefore, time is of the essence to execute the best possible offshore asset protection plan. As a result, you can eliminate your populist government’s ability to impose high taxes, monitor your bank account and seize your assets. Additionally, say goodbye to asset seizures imposed by tort litigators and aggressive creditors. 

Our time tested solution will secure your economic freedom and global access. St Kitts citizenship used in combination with the formation of a Nevis Trust is an impenetrable financial fortress. This is how the hardworking rich and powerful can safely secure their assets.

Indeed, the time is now for anyone holding significant assets to prepare for an uncertain future. The world’s most effective offshore asset protection plan is equally accessible to the mass affluent. Here is our free guide to St Kitts and Nevis asset protection.

St Kitts and Nevis Offshore Asset Protection Guide

  1. Introduction to St Kitts and Nevis
  2. Offshore Asset Protection for Individuals and Companies
  3. First Step – Obtain St Kitts Citizenship
  4. St Kitts Citizenship Benefits
  5. Nevis Asset Protection Trust
  6. How Does the Nevis Trust Work?
  7. Why is it Necessary?
  8. Nevis Trust Protections List
  9. Offshore Asset Protection Plan

Introduction to St Kitts and Nevis

Although commonly referred to as St Kitts and Nevis, these Caribbean islands are officially known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis. The location of the twin island federation is in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Eastern Caribbean Sea.

St Kitts and Nevis was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1493 (the islands were already inhabited by the Carib Indians). Enamored with their beauty, he named the larger island after the Patron Saint of Travelers, Saint Christopher. Additionally, the explorer named the smaller island Nevis (nieves is the Spanish word for snow) after the white cloud covered Nevis Peak.

However, the history of St Kitts and Nevis is bitter sweet. Formerly colonized by the British in 1648, St Kitts became known as “the Mother Colony” because it was the epicenter of the African slave trade facilitating the mass production of cane sugar for the European market. The islands finally achieved independence from the British in 1983.

In modern times, the natural beauty of the islands is still immensely popular. Therefore, St Kitts has long been the first port of call for the cruise ships working the Caribbean circuit. Nonetheless, it is the offshore asset protection industry that has become the new cornerstone of the economy.

Offshore Asset Protection for Individuals and Companies

The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis established the world’s first citizenship by investment program in 1984. The St Kitts Citizenship program has become immensely successful. For as little as USD150,000 a family of four can acquire life long citizenship from St Kitts and Nevis.

Both St Kitts and Nevis have also become well known as a tax haven for individuals and companies. Although included as part of the same sovereign entity, each island is indeed a separate legal jurisdiction. As a result, each island has its own asset protection attributes which can be used individually or most effectively in combination.

The larger island of St Kitts is an offshore banking center providing the most stringent privacy protection for individuals and corporations. Additionally, the central bank of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union is located in Basseterre on the island of St Kitts.

However, the island of Nevis has evolved as an independent financial center offering the impenetrable security of the Nevis Asset Protection Trust, Nevis LLC and also offshore banking.

In addition, the Nevis LLC and Nevis Asset Protection Trust are tax exempt as compared to St Kitts and Nevis corporations which may be subject to income tax.

In further benefit for St Kitts and Nevis citizens, profits and losses for an LLC flow through to members. But there is no personal income tax in St Kitts and Nevis. 

St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment

The government of St Kitts and Nevis is keen on granting citizenship to qualified, high net worth individuals. To qualify for citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis, applicants must produce a police certificate, medical certificate and sufficient funds to invest in the local economy.

Investment options include a minimum USD 150,000 non refundable contribution to the government’s sustainable growth fund. Or applicants can invest a minimum amount of USD 200,000 into a government approved real estate development.

By choosing the real estate option, the investor can make a 4-5% return and sell the property after the 7 year holding period. As a result, they can recoup their investment capital while retaining citizenship in perpetuity.      

St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Benefits

  1. No personal income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax or gift tax.
  2. The right to live and work in any CARICOM or OECS country.
  3. Visa free, eVisa or visa on arrival access to over 157 countries and territories including the Schengen area, UK, Ireland, Hong Kong and Singapore.
  4. St Kitts and Nevis is a member of the British Commonwealth.
  5. English is the spoken language with no fluency requirements.
  6. Dual citizenship is permitted with the ability to renounce US citizenship.
  7. No requirement to ever visit the country or reside there to retain citizenship (unless you choose to).
  8. St Kitts Citizenship is hereditary.
  9. The legal system is based on English Common Law.
  10. Local currency is Eastern Caribbean Dollar which is securely pegged to the USD. 

Nevis Asset Protection Trust

The success of St Kitts and Nevis citizenship and offshore banking programs was encouraging. As a result, in 1994 the Nevis Asset Protection Trust (Nevis Trust) was established on the island of Nevis. Based in the Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance, the Nevis Trust offers complete tax exemption in addition to impenetrable security from asset seizures and privacy protection for beneficiaries.

Originally based in British Law, the Nevis Trust legislation has extra protections. However, it has also been well tested in the courts and determined to be unbreakable. Indeed, even the full force of the US government has been unsuccessful at trying to break the Nevis Trust. Therefore, it has become a time tested safe haven used by high net worth individuals and families to store their assets. 

How Does the Nevis Trust Work?

The original owner of the trust assets is usually a high net worth individual or company known as a “settlor”. The settlor transfers legal ownership of designated assets (such as funds in a bank account, gold, jewelry, bonds, real estate or stocks) to a trustee (Nevis Company) that holds beneficial or equitable title to the assets while acting as trustee or custodian for a select number of beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries can include the settlor themselves, their children, family members or other entities including companies and trusts.

A Nevis Company which can be a Nevis LLC or Nevis Corporation, acting as trustee then manages the trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries according to the dictates of the trust deed. However, since the legal title of the trust assets is in the name of the trustee, the beneficiaries are not taxed on the trust’s income.

The Nevis LLC acting as trustee is indeed a full tax exempt entity on all international income. So is a properly formed Nevis corporation. In addition, a Nevis LLC or Nevis corporation which is distinct from the trustee can hold your assets inside the trust. The trustee or yourself acting as director will manage the assets.

In further benefit, the trust beneficiaries which can include the settlor, are not legal owners of the trust assets so they cannot be sued by creditors, governments, or tort litigators trying to recover debts.    

Nevis Trust Limitations

  1. The trust property cannot include any land situated in St Kitts and Nevis.
  2. At least one trustee is required which can be a corporation incorporated under the Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance.
  3. The settlor and beneficiaries must at all times remain non-residents of Nevis.

Why is the Nevis Trust Necessary?

The formation of a irrevocable trust allows the trust settlor to separate themselves from their assets, yet still maintain control of them. By forfeiting ownership of their assets but retaining control, the assets inside of the irrevocable trust are safe and secure from legal actions found in favor of creditors against the trust settlor and beneficiaries.

Legal foundations of the Nevis Trust make it practically impossible for creditors or tort litigators to enforce a judgement. This is due to a maze of legal restrictions that plaintiffs must navigate to pursue the assets of the trust.

For example, Nevis does not recognize foreign judgements. See more below.  

List of Nevis Trust Protections

  1. Protection from Heirship Rules: Any forced Heirship Rules of the settlor’s domicile, residence, place of incorporation, formation or establishment are unenforceable against an international trust.
  2. Unlimited Duration: No rule against perpetuities shall be enforceable against an international trust unless otherwise provided.
  3. Rule Against Foreign Judgements: No foreign judgement can be enforceable against an international trust in Nevis. As a result, to be effective all civil actions against an international trust must obtained from the courts of St Kitts and Nevis.
  4. Property of Married Couples: The Nevis Trust Ordinance allows property owned by tenants by the entireties (TBE) contributed to an international trust by married couples to continue to be treated as TBE property. 
  5. Cryptocurrency: A recent amendment allowed for an expanded list of authorized trust investments. Therefore, assets explicitly authorized by the protector can be held by the trustee. This allows for the inclusion of a wider variety of assets including cryptocurrencies.
  6. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The only remedy available to a creditor is to allege fraudulent transfer or disposition. In addition, the creditor must meet the high standard of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” with clear and convincing evidence that there was a fraudulent disposition in order to set aside a transfer into an international trust.
  7. Security Bond Requirement: To discourage frivolous claims, a creditor seeking to bring an action against an international trust must first deposit a USD 100,000 security bond with the Ministry of Finance.
  8. No Forced Distributions: The creditor of a beneficiary cannot compel or force a distribution in regards to a discretionary interest in an international trust.

The Ultimate Offshore Asset Protection Plan

The most effective offshore asset protection plan is a combination of St Kitts citizenship with the Nevis Trust. An international trust formed under the laws of Nevis pays no income tax, no capital gains tax or any tax whatsoever in Nevis. Additionally, the beneficiaries who are citizens of St Kitts and Nevis would be free of all income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and gift tax.

Nonetheless, beneficiaries must carefully choose their country of residence. This is because certain countries will impose income tax on foreign sourced income. As a result, trust distributions may draw the attention of their tax authorities. The best way to avoid this is to live in a tax free jurisdiction. If this is not possible we can assist you to establish the strongest possible nexus to St Kitts and Nevis.

Connections to St Kitts and Nevis such as ownership of St Kitts real estate (which can also be used to qualify for the citizenship program) will give you a local address. Furthermore, we can assist you to acquire a local driver’s license with tax identification number plus a local SIM card/phone bills. These supplemental measures will strengthen your connection to St Kitts and Nevis and help you to remain free from international income tax regardless of where you live. 

Use iGlobal for Offshore Asset Protection

My partners and I have 35+ years of experience working with the Caribbean citizenship programs and the Nevis Trust. As a result, we are well integrated with the local property developers, financial institutions and government agencies.

In addition, the tax savings alone will quickly return your costs for St Kitts citizenship. I guarantee this plan is in your best interest.

Contact iGlobal
Edwin Morgan, Managing Director Go Global Corporation PTE LTD