Offshore (actually “far from the coast”) could be defined geographically (especially from the UK point of view) as all locations that are far and foreign from one’s own current location. In our field of expertise, it is probably the legal reference that makes more sense: an offshore company or, more generally, an offshore location is outside the usual family legal norms, however one may define these adjectives.
Offshore tax planning has become increasingly popular over the years as more and more wealthy individuals have sought to escape the higher tax burdens imposed in many wealthy nations. In the meantime, regulatory measures both at international level (OECD, EU) and at national level through anti-abuse legislation have eliminated the vast majority of offshore activities.
Public attention has been focused in particular on the measures that have resulted in most offshore locations no longer being concealed from a tax perspective. With the international
- Agreement on the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities and
- Agreement on the exchange of account data to tax authorities (OECD Common Reporting Standard CRS)
both from 2014, the locations are basically no longer usable for any illegal tax evasion.
In contrast, trust & offshore solutions in authentic, precisely defined and narrowly limited circumstances and personal circumstances are still of interest and useful.