The End of the Portuguese Golden Visa is in Sight

News was announced in November 2022, when the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa indicated that the Portuguese golden visa is “no longer justified” – hinting at the prospect that the end of the famous residency-by-investment programme may be in sight.


The Portuguese golden visa programme was introduced in Portugal in 2012, to attract much needed foreign investment into the country. It came at a time when government effort was needed to fix Portugal’s public finances, following the 2011 bailout from the European Union.

So far it has been one of the world’s most popular residency-by-investment programmes, raising €6.6 billion from over 20,000 individuals (according to the Portuguese Immigration and Border Services), with a spectrum of benefits, including  the right to live, work and study in Portugal and visa-free travel within the Schengen Area for a period of five years.

The biggest investors have been from China, however, it is expected that Americans are poised to surpass them in 2022, for the first time.

Emotional Reaction

The potential change is prompting an emotional reaction from many, who are considering investing into the programme and  who are keen to ensure that their ‘plan B’ residency option is in place, before the expiry of the Portuguese golden visa.

Likely to be Advanced Warning of a Timeframe

It is important to note, though, as we have seen in the past, that changes made in the Portuguese golden visa programme typically have a timeframe applied during which the opportunity to apply for the programme will continue. Currently there is no confirmation in terms of when we may expect to see the end of the Portuguese golden visa, however, it is very likely that the timeline is finite and will come to an end sometime in the future.

Political Commentary

The likelihood of an advanced warning is supported by the fact that, earlier this year, there was a proposal to end the golden visa programme which was rejected. More recently, on 22 November 2022 the socialist party, which forms the current majority government in office, rejected the communist party’s proposal to introduce the end of the golden visa in the state budget for 2023.

This is despite the fact that, as mentioned earlier by the Prime Minister, the Government is evaluating the possibility of ending the regime. It is important to note, however, that a working group has been appointed to analyse the impact of the programme in the country and that this is a topic with a moving target and susceptible to change in the future.

What Action Should be Taken?

Investors who wish to enter the visa programme should do so sooner rather than later, to avoid the rush that was seen at the end of 2021, when the golden visa investment thresholds increased, with some losing out on being able to enjoy the lower investment rate, due to the influx of applications seen at the eleventh hour.

For those who have already invested in the Portuguese golden visa programme, the benefits of having the visa will remain and the commitment to those who have gained a visa, before the end of the visa programme, will be honoured.

Benefits Available Through the Golden Visa Programme

Benefits for those whose applications have been accepted, include the following:

  • Visa-free travel in Europe’s Schengen Area and the right to live, work, and study in Portugal
  • Eligibility to apply for citizenship after five years as a legal resident while keeping other citizenship(s)
  • Low physical presence requirement: 7 days during the first year of residence and 14 days for the two subsequent years, which can count towards citizenship eligibility after five years
  • Excellent international and Portuguese schools and universities
  • High quality of life, local cuisine and wines, rich culture, mild climate, and a high level of security
  • International quality healthcare clinics and hospitals
  • A country where people actually want to live and bring up their families, compared to some other jurisdictions who are offering other types of CBI programs
  • Only 7 days on average per annum stay in Portugal is required, over the five year golden visa period

Additional Information

If you have any further questions regarding the golden visa programme, including the investment options available, please reach out to Dixcart Portugal, for more details:

Having an experienced team to assist is paramount to ensure a steady and efficient process.

A golden visa application typically involves more than just the actual visa submission, and depending on the investment option selected, may require an experienced team of professionals such as Dixcart to assist you with various matters relating to the application.

Portugal – The New Digital Nomad Visa

The Portuguese Government announced the introduction of a new visa for digital nomads, which came into force on the 30th October 2022, allowing remote workers and/or self-employees to pursue their profession in Portugal.

Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe with striking historical and cultural attractions, an idyllic climate, superb cuisine, a low cost of living, low taxes and is regarded as one of the safest countries in the word to live and work. Portugal is destined to become a new oasis for digital nomads.


In October 2022, the Portuguese Government implemented, article 61.ºB, the Digital Nomad Visa which allows, foreign professionals to provide their services remotely, either as a subordinate worker (employee), or as an independent worker, in Portugal, for the maximum period of one year.

Each individual needs to provide; a work contract from a company based outside of Portugal, or a company incorporation contract, or proof of being self-employed and a commitment to register as an independent worker. 

The most important requirement to obtain the Portuguese Digital Nomad visa is the salary. Each applicant needs to demonstrate that they earn the equivalent of four times Portugal’s minimum monthly wage, which is €705, therefore making the monthly income required a total of €2,820. Portugal’s minimum monthly wage is expected to increase to €760 euros in 2023.

Individuals also need to be a citizen of a non-European country, in order to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa.

What is the difference between a D7 Visa and the Digital Nomad Visa?

The Digital Nomad Visa is an alternative to the D7 Visa. In order to apply for the D7 Visa, revenue must come from passive income, such as real estate investment or a pension.

To obtain the Digital Nomad Visa, passive income is not required – the salary is the important factor, as detailed above.

Step 1: Portuguese Tax Number and Opening a Portuguese Bank Account

To apply for the visa, individuals need to prove that they have sufficient means of subsistence in Portugal for the period of their stay. That means a Portuguese bank account, and consequently a Portuguese tax number, are both required.

A deposit of the minimum wage, multiplied by the number of months the individual is staying in Portugal, is then mandatory as evidence to the Portuguese Immigration Authorities.

Step 2: Collect Documentation

Gather all of the documents necessary to be submitted at the appointment at the Portuguese Consulate:

General documentation to request a visa

  1. Proof of legal residency on the country where you are applying
  2. Travel insurance covering necessary medical expenses
  3. Return airline ticket
  4. Criminal clearance record
  5. Proof of accommodation in Portugal for the period of your stay
  6. Proof of means of subsistence in Portugal

Specific documentation for the Digital Nomad Visa

  • In the situation of subordinate work, i.e., as an employee, one of the following documents is required:
    • Work contract; or,
    • Promise of work contract; or,
    • Declaration by employer confirming the labour link.
  • In the situation of independent professional activity, one of the following documents is required:
    • Contract of incorporation of company; or,
    • Contract of provision of services; or,
    • Written proposal of provision of services contract; or, 
    • Document confirming the services to be provided to one or more entities.
  • Proof of average monthly income for each of the last three months, with a minimum monthly value, equivalent to four Portuguese monthly minimum wages.
  • Document confirming your tax residence.

Step 3: Legal Formalities

The next step is to make an appointment at the Portuguese Consulate, where a meeting will be organised to submit the documentation and collect biometric data for the Visa.

Step 4: Final Steps

After analysis of the application is complete, the Digital Nomad visa is issued for the period of the work contract, up to a maximum period of one year.


Apart from tax benefits and other advantages, Portugal has 3 cities in the Nomad List of top 10 best cities in which to work remotely. 

Lisbon is rated as the best city, whilst the island of Madeira also rates highly. Important factors include internet speed and entertainment, specific communities with a social structure, co-workspaces, and medium-term accommodation, each of which are important to Digital Nomads.

Madeira established the first Digital Nomad Village in Ponta do Sol, where Digital Nomads enjoy free workspaces, with high-speed broadband internet, spectacular scenery, and a vast array of activities.

Why Should You Reach out To Dixcart?

Taken into account that the Digital Nomad Visa is a very recent option as a visa in Portugal, it requires guidance from experts with sufficient experience and knowledge of immigration law.

 Information is available on the internet that may assist you in obtaining the Digital Nomad Visa on your own, but this may come with many hurdles that our team are familiar with and that can easily be avoided with the help of a professional.

 In addition, Dixcart can provide tax planning, among other services, that can assist when relocating. Tax planning is considered necessary before your actual move to Portugal, as arriving unprepared may result in unfavourable tax consequences that could have easily been avoided.

Additional Information

Please reach out to Dixcart Portugal for additional information:

Important Update regarding UK Corporate Tax Changes

During the Autumn of 2022, changes to UK corporate tax and personal tax regimes were subject to a number of amendments.

However, it is now confirmed that two significant changes are taking place in the near future:

  • The UK Government announced that from 1 April 2023, non-UK resident property companies will be subject to an increased corporate tax rate of 25%, a 6% increase compared to the current rate of 19%, tax year 2021/2022.
  • An existing set of rules which, have not been directly relevant for some time, will now definitely need to be taken into account and will see many companies under common control, now being viewed as ‘associated’ with each other. This can have a significant impact on the amount and dates on which UK corporate tax is payable.

The Increase in the UK Corporate Tax Rate

From 1 April 2023, corporate tax rates in the UK will vary between 19% and 25%. The previous single rate having been 19%.

Where a UK resident company has taxable profits of less than £50,000, the 19% small profits rate will apply. UK resident companies with profits of between £50,000 and £250,000 will pay a tapered rate of between 19% and 25%. Above the higher limit of £250,000, the 25% rate will apply to all taxable profits.

These bandings are reduced if there are associated companies, please see further details below.

Where an accounting period spans across the date of 1 April 2023, taxable profit will be split to the period before and after 1 April 2023, with differing rates applied.

Companies Incorporated or Tax Resident Overseas

Companies which are incorporated and/or tax resident overseas and which are subject to UK corporation tax, will pay a flat rate of 25% corporation tax on taxable profits arising after 1 April 2023.

This 25% rate will apply to all UK based property and trading income and to capital gains on all sales of UK investment property.

Action could be taken ahead of 1 April 2023, to mitigate some of the implications of these changes. Any proposed action would, however, need to be assessed to ensure it makes commercial sense and take into account any prevailing case law and HMRC practice. Professional advice from a company such as Dixcart should be taken.

The Option of De-enveloping UK Property Held in a Non-UK Resident Company

If the de-enveloping of UK properties being held by non-UK resident companies is being considered, this should take place as far ahead of 1 April 2023, as possible.

Each situation needs to be considered based on its merits and an evaluation needs to take place as to whether this is the most appropriate action, from both a tax and a wider perspective. Any decision also needs to take into account that it might take some time to put changes in place to achieve the desired end result.

Associated Companies – Changes to the Rules

The current rule of a ‘related 51% group company’; where companies have generally been deemed to be related 51% companies, where there is common corporate ownership greater than 50%, is also due to change on 1 April 2023. As a consequence, companies that previously did not fall within the quarterly instalment payment regime (QIPs), may now do so.

The new definition of associated companies will be significantly broadened to include companies controlled by the same person/s. A ‘person’ includes not only individuals but also trustees of a trust and partners of a partnership.

A simple example is detailed below: a trust holds all of the shares (100%), in 8 separate companies. The companies undertake similar activities and the shares were settled into the trust by the same settlor. Under the pre-1 April 2023 rules there are no 51% group companies, under the new rules there could be up to 8 associated companies.

QIPs: Definition

Most companies pay UK corporation tax within 9 months and 1 day, after their year-end. This is unless they fall under QIPs. As detailed above, whether a company is deemed to be an associated company and the number of associated companies will determine whether a company must pay its UK corporation tax via the QIPs regime.

Generally, QIPs applies, where:

  • Taxable profit exceeds £1.5million in two consecutive accounting periods,


  • Taxable profit exceeds £10million on any accounting period.

It is very important to note that the taxable limits are divided by the number of associated companies.

QIPs does not increase the tax payable, but it does have a considerable impact on cash flow and missing or underpaying QIPs can result in penalties and/or interest being applied.

Additional Information

If you have any questions regarding the forthcoming changes to UK corporation tax, please contact Paul Webb, at the Dixcart office in the UK:

Cyprus – Tax Benefits for Expatriates and High Net Worth Individuals Relocating There

Why Cyprus?

Cyprus is an appealing European jurisdiction, located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and offering a warm climate and attractive beaches. Situated off the southern coast of Turkey, Cyprus is accessible from Europe, Asia and Africa. Nicosia is the centrally located capital of the Republic of Cyprus. The official language is Greek, with English also being widely spoken. Cyprus offers a palette of personal tax incentives for expatriates and high net worth individuals relocating to Cyprus.

Personal Taxation

An individual becomes a tax resident in Cyprus by spending more than 183 days in Cyprus in any one calendar year. With that being said, they will be taxed on income arising in Cyprus and also on foreign source income.

Any foreign taxes paid can be credited against the personal income tax liability in Cyprus. An additional incentive has been implemented whereas individuals can become tax residents in Cyprus by spending a minimum of 60 days in Cyprus provided that certain criteria is met.

Individuals who were not previous tax residents can also apply for the non-domicile status. Individuals who qualify under the Non-Domicile Regime are exempt from taxation income derived from; interest, dividends, capital gains (apart from capital gains derived from the sale of immovable property in Cyprus), capital sums received from pension, provident and insurance funds. In addition, there is no wealth and no inheritance tax in Cyprus.

Income Tax Exemption for Taking up Employment in Cyprus

  • An exemption of 50% of the remuneration from employment is available for an individual in Cyprus who was resident outside Cyprus before the commencement of his/her employment in Cyprus. The exemption applies for a period of 10 years starting from the first year of employment in Cyprus, provided that the income from such employment exceeds €100,000 per year.

The Cyprus Action Plan for 2022 provides for tax exemptions that apply to foreign highly skilled employees in the Republic and are being extended to a maximum period of 17 years.

The existing 50% tax exemption is also being extended to cover new resident employees, with an annual employment salary of €55,000 or more.

The relevant legislation for the extended tax exemption is yet to be submitted and approved.

Nil/reduced Withholding Tax on Income Received from Abroad

Cyprus has more than 65 tax treaties that provide for nil or reduced withholding tax rates on; dividends, interest, royalties and pensions received from abroad.

Tax Advantages for Pension Lump Sums and Income

Any lump sum received as a retirement gratuity is exempt from tax.

A Cypriot tax resident individual receiving pension income from abroad may choose to be taxed at a flat rate of 5%, on amounts exceeding €3,420 per year.

Additional Information

If you would like any additional information regarding the tax benefits available for expatriates and HNWI’s relocation to Cyprus, contact the Dixcart office in Cyprus:

Why You Should Consider Investing in Maltese Funds

Since joining the EU Malta has become an attractive location to establish a fund. The legislation that was enacted at the time meant that additional fund regimes could be introduced. As a result, Malta has a reputation for being a cost-effective jurisdiction, offering multiple types of funds to choose from, depending on the preferred investment strategy.

All Maltese funds are regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Malta benefits from a series of European Union Directives which allow collective investment schemes to operate freely throughout the EU, on the basis of a single authorisation from one member state.

There are various different funds in Malta:

  • Professional Investor Funds “PIF”
    •  PIFs are available only to Qualifying Investors
  • Alternative Investment Funds
    • A new category recently introduced as a result of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), and now comprising of retail NON-UCITS (Undertaking for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) and PIFs. There are 3 categories of AIFs:
    • AIFs promoted to Professional Investors
    • AIFs promoted to Qualifying Investors
    • AIFs promoted to Retail Investors
  • Notified Alternative Investment Funds “NAIF”
    • Private Collective Investment Scheme – maximum 15 participants and which does not require a Collective Investment Scheme licence, but needs to be recognised by the MFSA.

Various Fund Structures

Single‐fund and multi‐fund structures are available.

In multi‐fund structures you have separate sub‐funds / compartments with their respective investment themes.

Whereas in multi‐fund (umbrella) structures, an election is made to have the assets and liabilities of each sub‐fund within the umbrella structure treated, for all intents and purposes of law, as separate from the assets and liabilities of each other sub‐fund of that structure (segregation of assets and liabilities).

Need to Instruct a Service Provider

In Malta, each fund requires a  service provider for day-to-day management.

Below is a brief overview of the key roles involved in a fund and their specific duties:

  • Board of Directors

The Board, which is nominated by the Founder Shareholders, is responsible for the general affairs of the scheme, including the appointment of a service provider. In order to adhere to the Maltese regulatory requirements, the Board should:

  • be composed of no less than three members;
    • one of the Directors must be resident in Malta;
    • one of the Directors must be independent.

The majority of the board meetings must be held physically in Malta. Directors of a NAIF are not subject to a due diligence assessment by the Regulator but will be subject to due diligence assessment by the AIFM (Alternative Investment Fund Manager), assuming responsibility of the NAIF.

  • Manager (unless self-managed)

The Investment Manager is the person responsible for the discretionary investment management of the assets of the Fund. This includes; establishing or reviewing investment policy; rules for stock selection; portfolio construction; investment techniques and instruments; as well as negotiation and implementation of the acquisition and disposal of the investments.

This management function includes certain risk management activity, which depends on whether the fund is a UCITS and the AIFMD regime.

  • SelfManaged Schemes

Funds (such as  UCITS, retail non‐UCITS, PIFs or AIFs) which do not appoint an external Investment Manager, are called self‐managed schemes. This self-managed option is only available where funds are bodies corporate (whose structure allows the full assumption of the management function by the administration).

Self‐managed funds must comply with specific provisions applicable to them under MFSA rules (in the form of supplementary licence conditions), including rules on the initial capital requirements of self‐managed schemes.

  • Fund Administrator

The Fund Administrator is the person appointed by the Scheme or its Manager, responsible for the provision of administration services to the Fund. Fund administration services typically include the following:

i. preparation of Net Asset Values;

ii. pricing the investment portfolio;

iii. preparation of contract notes;

iv. registrar functions;

v. payment of bills;

vi. reconciliations;

vii. fund accounting;

viii. preparation of financial statements;

ix. performance reporting;

x. compliance reporting.

  • Compliance Officer and Money Laundering Reporting Officer.

The NAIF, is required to comply, on an ongoing basis, with the provisions of local laws and any applicable rules and regulations, as well any other applicable regulations in any jurisdictions where it is marketed. In this regard, the NAIF must appoint a Compliance Officer, who, in terms of the local requirements, must be the same Compliance Officer as of the AIF.

The Board of the NAIF is also responsible for compliance with its obligations under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations. The NAIF must therefore also appoint a Money Laundering Reporting Officer.

The Fund must also have the following service providers in place; the MLRO, Compliance Officer, Custodian, Auditor, and Investment Advisor depending on the type of fund.

Case Study

Set-up of a Malta Fund – gathering investors from an EU country and the rest of the world such as; US, Thai, China and Middle East. The proposed fund will focus on purchasing buildings to refurbish, plots of land integrally held in an EU country. During the first year, the first round of investments will be around €20 million. 

  • Option A – Launch of a new dedicated collective investment scheme with one sub-fund at launch, structured as a Maltese Notified Alternative Investment Fund (“NAIF”). A dedicated collective investment scheme will provide you with the possibilities to; (i) build your own brand, (ii) launch additional sub-funds in the future under the same brand name, (iii) retain control; you will hold certain voting rights, including the rights to choose the Directors and Service Providers, and (iv) receive income via the founder shareholding.
  • Option B – Launch of a new sub-fund under an already existing collective investment scheme. The SICAV  (société d’investissement à capital variable) would be an already existing Notified AIF, and therefore included in the list of NAIFs held by the Malta Financial Services Authority. The launch of an additional sub-fund within an existing structure will improve the time to market and the total expense ratio of the fund, since certain fixed costs (such as Directors’ remuneration and insurance, for instance) are shared between the sub-funds that are launched.

The proposed solutions offer fund promoters such as; an investor, pension fund, insurance company, bank or management company, different cost-effective ways to launch a product and the possibility to access the market quickly.

Elise Trustees, a sister company of Dixcart Management Malta, holds a fund administrator licence and can therefore provide a comprehensive range of services including; fund administration, accounting and shareholder reporting, corporate secretarial services, shareholder services and valuations.

The fund (the Collective Investment Scheme), must itself be licensed by the MFSA.

Additional Information

For further information on Maltese Funds, please do not hesitate to contact Jonathan Vassallo: at the Dixcart office, in Malta or your usual Dixcart contact.

Trusts in Switzerland: What’s New and What You Should Be Aware Of


Switzerland has a long established reputation for professional expertise when managing the affairs of wealthy private individuals. For many years Swiss Trustees have provided efficient tailored services for trusts, which are a flexible instrument, particularly useful for estate planning and asset protection.

The supervisory and legal landscape for trusts is changing in Switzerland, as reflected in the fact that the Federal Council implemented new Trustee regulations in 2020, and proposed the introduction of a Trust law into the Swiss Code of Obligations.

These two new regimes will reinforce the competitiveness of Switzerland as a financial centre, and boost the Swiss Trust industry’s quality, integrity and accountability, while creating a uniform competitive landscape for Trustees.

What are the Regulations About?

Up to now, Trustees were only supervised in relation to compliance with Anti-Money Laundering obligations. Swiss professional Trustees will now have to comply with; structural, organisational, business-conduct and audit requirements.

Trustees operating in Switzerland must now; register with a Supervisory Organisation, comply with statutory requirements and apply for a licence from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), before December 31st 2022.

Licensing Exemptions

Private trust companies (PTCs) are exempt, as well as single family office structures (“family-ties exemption”). This exemption also applies if the beneficiary is a charity.

Regulatory Obligations

  • Trustees must have a minimum paid up capital of CHF 100,000 with the added obligations to maintain adequate financial security and/or professional liability insurance. 
  • Management by the Trustees must be carried out by a minimum of two ‘qualified directors’ of good reputation.
  • Trustees must have appropriate risk management and adequate internal control systems.

Where Are We Today?

As of December 2022, the majority of Swiss Professional Trustees still need to obtain a licence from FINMA. 22 professional trustee authorisations have to date, been granted. To put this in context currently 330 Trustees have submitted applications.

A New Swiss Law on Trusts

Currently, there is no Swiss law relating to trusts.

However, foreign trusts have been legally recognised since July 2007, with the implementation of “the Hague Trust Convention of 1 July 1985 on the Law Applicable to Trusts and their Recognition”.

Since then, Swiss Trustees have administered trusts governed according to foreign laws. This implies that the Trustee needs to have good knowledge of the foreign law in order to comply with its fiduciary duties. It also means that Swiss administration and the Courts have to apply a foreign law, within the internal Swiss system.

Swiss trust law would:

  • Offer new applications and business opportunities in wealth structuring and, close the current gap in the legal system, with the use of a Swiss, rather than a foreign instrument.
  • It would also provide greater certainty to Swiss based Trustees, who currently may well need to have knowledge of a number of different foreign trust laws.

A preliminary draft bill and an explanatory report on the introduction of a Swiss Trust Law, were published in January 2022 and sent out for consultation. The preliminary draft bill introduces explicit provisions on the taxation of trusts.

The debate in the Chambers of Parliament will commence in the spring session of 2023 at the earliest. Therefore, the bill is not expected to come into force before 2024.

The Dixcart office in Switzerland will keep you fully updated regarding the progress and status of Swiss trust law, during 2023.

Dixcart Trustees (Switzerland) SA

Dixcart Trustees (Switzerland) SA has been providing trustee services for over fifteen years. We are a member of the Swiss Association of Trust Companies (SATC), and are registered with the ”Organisme de Surveillance des Instituts Financiers” (OSIF).

We are fully confident that Dixcart Trustees (Switzerland) SA meets the regulatory obligations required by the Swiss Federal Act on Financial Institutions, that came into effect at the start of 2020.  Our application has been submitted to FINMA and is within the licence process.

Additional Information

If you would like additional information regarding trusts and Switzerland, please contact Christine Breitler at the Dixcart office in Switzerland:

St Kitts & Nevis  – A Summary: Wealth Management and Citizenship by Investment

St Kitts & Nevis is a modern, forward-thinking financial centre located within the Eastern Caribbean.  It has a unique history of legislative and fiscal independence and is at the forefront in terms of providing practical solutions to an increasingly mobile and international client base.

Nevis has developed a number of attractive options, over the years, to meet corporate and individual needs, and allowing clients to organise their affairs in an efficient and confidential manner.

Some of the jurisdiction’s key benefits include:

  • Confidentiality – There is no beneficial ownership register in Nevis, public or private and Ultimate Beneficial Owner information is kept confidential by the registered agent (Dixcart)
  • Agility – There are agile structuring options; an entity formed in another jurisdiction may easily redomicile to Nevis including existing; Trusts, Companies and Foundations, and not only can those entities migrate to Nevis, those existing entities can also be transformed into a Nevis Foundation to maintain continuity
  • Flexibility – With cutting edge and flexible foundation legislation, a Nevis multiform foundation can take or change its form to be a; trust foundation, a company foundation, a partnership foundation or a traditional foundation and can chop and change its form throughout its life to adjust dynamically to Client’s needs – this will mostly follow independent tax advice, otherwise a traditional foundation may suffice
  • Security – Nevis Asset Protection Laws mean that any potential creditor must place a bond of US$100,000 for a Trust and US$50,000 for a Foundation before bringing any action or proceeding against the Trust or Foundation property. There is a 2 years statute of limitations period for Trusts and 1 year for Foundations. Foreign judgements aren’t recognised and any civil action must be brought anew in the Courts of the Federation
  • Friendly tax environment – there is no income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax, inheritance tax or gift tax in Nevis

Services Provided by Dixcart Management (Nevis) Limited

Dixcart Nevis provides a wealth of solutions and expertise with respect to succession planning and citizenship by investment. Our bespoke services include:

  • Formation of Nevis Asset Protection Trusts and the provision of Trustee services
  • Formation and management of Nevis Multiform Foundations
  • Nevis Company incorporation and registered office / registered agent services
  • Citizenship by Investment
  • Estate and Succession planning and family office services
  • Nevis Wills
  • We are proud to offer a proactive and dedicated service from the Dixcart Team

Additional Information

If you require additional information regarding the jurisdiction of St Kitts & Nevis and the services offered, speak to John Mellor or Beth Le Cheminant at the Dixcart office in Nevis:

Isle of Man Exempt Funds: 7 Things You Need to Consider

Due to the level of flexibility offered by an Isle of Man Exempt Fund, enquirers often approach conversations with a carte blanche mindset regarding the structuring and operation of the Fund, and often believe that this is a simple solution.

Unfortunately, there are many aspects that need to be considered, some of which require expert guidance and services. It is these factors which I aim to introduce in this short piece. As this article’s name suggests, these are the elements you need to consider when, and ideally prior, to commencing structuring your Fund.

In this article we will examine and highlight some of the following elements:

Setting up an Isle of Man Exempt Fund

In this section we will not cover the legislative framework, but rather some of the options open to the Promoter regarding the constitution of their Isle of Man Exempt Fund.

You can read our article An Isle of Man Exempt Fund – What, How and Why? to find out more about the legislative framework and requirements of an Isle of Man Exempt Fund.

The Promoter should first take advice that will underpin their structuring – it will inform them of which entity, or mix of entities, is best suited to achieve their objectives.

There are two common choices regarding structuring:

A Limited Partnership

This is by far the most common route elected, and involves a Private Limited Company acting as General Partner (GP), formed under either the Companies Act 1931 (CA 1931) or Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006). You can find out more about the differences between the two regimes here:

Usually the GP is a CA 2006 company, and the investors are the Limited Partners (LP).

The GP has unlimited liability and engages in the actual administration of the Exempt Fund.

The LPs’ liability is limited to their contributed capital, and they must not engage in the day-to-day management of the Exempt Fund.

Usually the GP engages a third-party investment adviser to manage the assets, however, subject to certain criteria the Promoter of the Isle of Man Exempt Fund can act as an investment adviser to the GP.

A Limited Partnership offers a more traditional structure that would be well suited to Promoters wishing to operate a single Isle of Man Exempt Fund.

A Protected Cell Company

Protected Cell Companies (PCC) were not covered in our foundation article, so I will give a little extra insight here for completeness.

The Isle of Man Protected Cell company can be formed under the CA 1931 or CA 2006. If the PCC is formed under the CA 1931, it is also subject to the Protected Cell Companies Act 2004. If the PCC is formed under the CA 2006, it is governed by the terms of the CA 2006.

Regardless of which Act the is chosen, the PCC must be limited by shares, however those shares can be of nominal or nil value. Further, an existing company that meets the requirements of a PCC can apply to be converted into a PCC.

A PCC is a single legal entity and can make agreements, be sued and own assets in its own right. The PCC can create an unlimited number of Cells, each of which represents ringfenced assets and liabilities which are segregated from the other Cells and the Non-Cellular assets and liabilities i.e. the PCC’s assets and liabilities. Importantly, each Cell does not have separate legal personality, and does not represent a separate legal entity.

In addition to the PCC’s Non-Cellular Ordinary Shares, Cellular shares may also be issued. The Shareholder of Cellular shares can participate in the activities of that Cell i.e. those rights defined by the Articles of Association. For our purposes this means the Investor, subject to meeting certain criteria and being compliant with their Tax Advice, can participate in the Investment Management – again we will consider this further down.

A set of accounts must be maintained, and a Tax Return submitted in respect of each Cell. Further, each Cell must be clearly identifiable as a Cell, and any transacting party must be made aware that they are dealing with a Cell of a PCC.

A PCC may be a good option for those seeking to create several Isle of Man Exempt Funds in a cost efficient manner. This can be for many different reasons, such as:

  • Different rounds of investment
  • Investing into different economic trade areas
  • Structuring the Cells to mature at different dates
  • Investing into different or ringfenced asset classes
  • Segregating projects e.g. Real Estate development etc.

Whether the Promoter prefers the Limited Partnership or PCC, they will require legal services to draft important constitutional contracts, which will often be tailored to the structure the Promoter required e.g. will the Isle of Man Exempt Fund be an open or closed ended arrangement? Any particular operational requirements or objectives they want to make provision for etc.

This documentation can include, where appropriate, a modified Articles of Association or Partnership Agreement, Service Agreements between the fund administrator and the Promoter, Agreements between the Investment Manager and administrator, notices or declarations etc. All of which have cost implications for the Promoter to bear in mind – we consider costs later.

Dixcart work with legal experts to ensure all constitutional documentation is appropriate, compliant and fit for purpose. This drafting provides the bedrock for not only our relationship with the parties involved, but also delivers certainty and stability to the arrangement.

Isle of Man Exempt Fund Investors

To recap on what we covered in An Isle of Man Exempt Fund – What, How and Why?, an Isle of Man Exempt Fund provides some restrictions concerning the investors:

  • There must be no more than 49 investors per Isle of Man Exempt Fund;
  • The Isle of Man Exempt Fund cannot be promoted to the public.

The Isle of Man Exempt Fund is not designed to be a retail investment for high volumes of investors, rather it is geared as a private arrangement, describes as one on a ‘family and friends’ basis, for experienced investors. I have purposefully worded the first bullet here to underline the fact that, for example, under a PCC the Promoter can have an unlimited number of Cells and therefore Exempt Funds, so long as each Cell meets the requirements of a bona fide Isle of Man Exempt Fund.

With this in mind, careful consideration needs to be given as to the ‘who’ and ‘how’ of the Isle of Man Exempt Fund – Who will be your target investors and how will you engage them?

Additionally, although not prescribed by statute, the Promoter should consider other relevant features of their target investor’s profile, such as the anticipated average level of investment, if there are minimum investment requirements, which jurisdictions will the investors be based etc.

For example, the Promoter may already work or associate with a group of appropriate individuals or companies, or may be a member of a network, or know appropriate Promoterele. There may be a minimum investment amount of hundreds of thousands set, with a target total investment pot of X million and an estimated rate of return at X%.

In short, the Promoter needs to develop a clear rationale for how the Isle of Man Exempt Fund is promoted, what is expected from the investors and what the investors can expect. Always remembering that public promotion must be avoided absolutely.

Isle of Man Exempt Fund Asset Selection

The regulatory framework offers the Isle of Man Exempt Fund ultimate flexibility with regards to the Promoter’s choice of asset classes, how custody is arranged, auditing etc. However, the Corporate Service Provider will have to meet its obligations regarding compliance, and therefore ensure their statutory duties are met.

Whilst it is not a strict legal requirement, it is best practice for a thorough Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) to be drafted which expressly covers all of the Ts&Cs of the Isle of Man Exempt Fund.

The PPM details the rules and objectives of the Isle of Man Exempt Fund in a similar way to a Fund Prospectus. It is the document that a prospective investor will want to review, in order to fully understand the Isle of Man Exempt Fund and how it operates.

The PPM covers subject matter such as the targeted asset classes, how and when capital is deployed, if the Exempt Fund will accumulate gains or distribute income. Here, the features relating to the selection of assets include:

Geolocation of assets and their custody – The Promoter needs to have a full understanding regarding the situs of the linked assets – where are they located and or held in the world? The rules governing compliance still reign supreme here. If the Promoter is wishing to deploy capital into jurisdictions at higher risk of money laundering, terrorist finance, bribery or corruption, this needs to be considered carefully. Even where the risks can be mitigated by process and procedure, and activity undertaken by the Corporate Service Provider, those structures that carry higher risks also incur enhanced compliance monitoring and controls, which in turn have cost implications.

Nature of the linked assets – where the fund is ‘vanilla’ in nature i.e. carries out a simple investment mandate such as investing into listed stocks and shares etc. such activity does not negatively affect the risk rating. Whereas, if the scope of the Isle of Man Exempt Fund included novel assets, such as Crypto Currencies, the activity could very well carry compliance implications.

It is our current policy that holding NFTs as personal investments can be acceptable. However, to deal with or offer out such assets in a commercial setting would be outside of our risk profile. In the instance of an Exempt Fund this can be a nuanced point and would be taken on the circumstances of the Fund offering, considering the purpose of the Fund and investors amongst other things.

In the instance of an Isle of Man Exempt Fund, where novel assets are being considered, it is best to contact us at an early stage to discuss the acceptability of the prospective asset classes.

Important disclosures – If the promoters have any existing interests either in the assets being transferred into the Isle of Man Exempt Fund, or in the proposed assets to be invested into, such interests need to be disclosed within the PPM e.g. if there is an introducers arrangement, if they hold a position within a company whose shares will be purchased or transferred, if there is a commercial relationship with the vendor of the assets, or any other incentive of any kind, this must be disclosed.

There are many more aspects to be considered, which are of course unique to each Isle of Man Exempt Fund.

Isle of Man Exempt Fund Investment Management

There are no prescriptive legislative requirements pertaining to an Isle of Man Exempt Fund and how it manages its linked assets. However, this isn’t to say that the Promoter has a blank canvas regarding how the Exempt Fund property is managed.

The service provider will have its own appetite for risk, and therefore corresponding policies and procedures that relate to asset management. At Dixcart we offer two options in this regard:

  1. The Promoter or Dixcart engage a third-party investment manager;
  2. Under certain circumstances, the Promoter can act as investment adviser.

Option no’1 is preferable, as the investment manager will be a qualified and licensed professional who is geared to deliver such services.

Option no’2 is considered on a case-by-case basis and requires that the Promoter applying to be the investment manager has demonstrable experience or expertise in the chosen asset classes. This may flow from their career to date, qualifications etc.

The investment management of the Isle of Man Exempt Fund needs to be considered from outset.

Banking for Isle of Man Exempt Funds

When the Promoter is considering how they bank the Isle of Man Exempt Fund, there are similar considerations to their asset selection. There will be a risk-based approach adopted by the chosen bank and various factors e.g. jurisdictions, asset class etc. will directly influence how acceptable the application for an account will be. This may also result in higher banking costs.

Further, many high street banks simply will not provide services to entities that do not have Isle of Man Directors. Where this is the case, other options may have to be considered i.e. can you bank in other jurisdictions? Does the Promoter have existing banking relationships?

Dixcart have existing relationships with all major banks on the Isle of Man and can facilitate banking services on fully managed entities. Or where Dixcart are not providing Directors, introductions can be made where appropriate.

Tax Treatment of Isle of Man Exempt Funds

In my line of work, I think I may say this sentence more than any other:

‘Have you taken tax advice?’

Tax advice is absolutely and unequivocally at the centre of any offshore planning. As a Corporate and Trust Services Provider, we need to be sure that A) the Promoter is not creating any unknown liabilities for themselves, and B) the Promoter structuring is not going to create any adverse consequences for Dixcart C) the structuring will work as intended.

There are many angles that need to be considered when it comes to the Isle of Man Exempt Funds – here are a few of the considerations:


The advice will consider where the assets are located. Depending on the treatment of the asset within the jurisdiction and the nature of the assets, there may be tax liabilities e.g. an asset that generates income and gains etc.

The Investors

When entering and exiting the fund, the investors will need to take tax advice to ensure they do not create any unintended tax consequences – an unexpected tax bill could remove any benefit of participating within the Exempt Fund, or even create a loss.

The Promoter

As with the investors, the Promoter will need tax advice to assess their personal circumstances in order to ensure that the structure is the most effective way to achieve their objectives, and that engaging in the structuring will not lead to any unintended tax consequences.

These are only very high-level considerations, and there are likely to be many more. Each Isle of Man Exempt Fund will be unique on the facts, and therefore this complex arrangement demands that all parties’ tax positions are fully considered.

Over our 50+ years, Dixcart have built up a superb network of professionals who can advise on such structures. No matter where you are in the world, we can make appropriate introductions to a local tax adviser.

Isle of Man Exempt Fund Costs

I have already alluded to this earlier within the article, so I will keep this short. I am not dissuading the Promoter of the virtues of the Isle of Man Exempt Fund, as they can be very beneficial, however this does need to be caveated:

Setting up an Isle of Man Exempt Fund may well be a cheaper exercise than establishing other types of Fund, however please note that this is NOT a cheap exercise. We would always suggest that the Promoter also considers the potential use of an investment holding company as an alternative to their Isle of Man Exempt Fund, and whether their objectives can be met in this way.

The legals alone will likely cost in the order of tens of thousands of pounds. The Promoter will also have the Corporate Service Provider’s administrative fees, which are usually calculated as the higher of a minimum cost and a percentage of assets under management. Finally, the Promoter will have to meet any third-party fees – which will thoroughly depend on the nature of the linked assets i.e. if the assets are property such as real estate, you may need property managers, insurance etc.

In summary, the Exempt Fund could have six figure running costs, so this will need to be factored into the likely growth on the Isle of Man Exempt Fund and any tax savings and efficiencies compared to all other financial considerations.

How Can Dixcart Help

Dixcart hold Class 3(11) and 3(12) Isle of Man FSA licenses, which enables us to act as the Functionary of an Isle of Man Exempt Fund.

We do not provide investment management services or tax advice. We cannot give undertakings with regards to the acceptance of banking, draft your legals or deviate from our compliance obligations.

As a Functionary, we provide statutory support to corporate structures and provide management services e.g. provide Directors, accounting services, produce Net Asset Valuations, banking services, liaise with third party service providers etc.

As a Trust and Corporate Service Provider, we have a network of advisory contacts that span all relevant disciplines all over the world. Whilst we cannot provide all required services, we are very well placed to deliver a solution with these partners.

Get in touch

Dixcart provide a single point of contact for the setup and management of Exempt Funds; establishing the fund and organising the formation and management of the underlying assets.

If you require further information regarding Isle of Man Exempt Funds or any of the vehicles discussed, please feel free to get in touch with David Walsh, at Dixcart Isle of Man, to see how they can be used to meet your objectives:

Alternatively you can connect with David on LinkedIn.

Dixcart Management (IOM) Limited is Licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority***

***This information is provided as guidance as at 14/12/22 and should not be considered advice. The most appropriate vehicle is determined by individual Promoter needs and specific advice should be sought.

Guernsey Property Unit Trusts: Uses and Benefits

What is a Guernsey Property Unit Trust (“GPUT”)?

A Guernsey Property Unit Trust (“GPUT”) is a form of Guernsey trust commonly used when structuring UK real estate acquisitions.

The assets of a GPUT are held in the name of the trustee on behalf of the unitholders (beneficiaries) who will hold units in the GPUT corresponding to their interest in the underlying asset. The legal ownership of the asset therefore rests with the trustee whilst the unitholders have the beneficial interest in the trusts’ assets.

The trustee will typically appoint a Property Manager to manage the real estate held.

Uses and Benefits of a GPUT

A GPUT can be used as a joint venture vehicle and / or as a regulated fund depending on the client’s requirements and offers a number of advantages. Up until 2006 a GPUT could benefit from an exemption to UK Stamp Duty Tax (“SDLT”). Whilst that exemption no longer exists, a GPUT is still an attractive investment vehicle with the following benefits:

  • No Stamp Duty payable on transfer of units in a GPUT (where the GPUT qualifies as a ‘collective investment scheme’)
  • No liability to income tax or capital gains tax for the Trustee in Guernsey
  • The GPUT may be transparent for UK income tax when correctly structured as a “Baker” trust
  • The GPUT is widely recognised by banks and financial institutions in the UK and elsewhere facilitating access to funding
  • Where the GPUT is structured as a collective investment scheme it can be used as a vehicle for the pooling of investor’s funds
  • No requirement to be audited (where not regulated or listed)
  • Flexibility in relation to unitholder’s rights, such as different classes of units to allow certain unitholders to receive varying returns on their units
  • A GPUT may (subject to tax advice) offer unitholders a greater degree of influence over the trustee, by allowing them to appoint directors to the board and/or include limitations to trustee powers under the terms of the trust instrument.

Rights of Unitholders

The rights of the unitholders will be largely governed by the terms of the trust instrument which will contain commercial terms that govern the GPUT, such as voting thresholds, rights on such matters as redemption, transfers and removal of a trustee. 

The trustee is independent of the unitholders, however, unitholders are able to maintain a degree of control over the trustee by including limitations on the powers of the trustee under the terms of the trust instrument.

GPUT Trustee

It is typically recommended that a special purpose vehicle (SPV) is established to act as the trustee to a new GPUT which then allows for limited liability status for the trustee.  Although the provision of trustee services is a regulated activity in Guernsey, an exemption from this requirement is available where the following criteria are met:

  • The SPV trustee is administered by a Guernsey regulated fiduciary service provider, and
  • The SPV trustee’s sole purpose and only activity is to act as the trustee to the NEW GPUT

A GPUT must have at least one trustee, however in practice a GPUT will often have two SPV trustees if the GPUT structure is to hold UK real estate in order to address overriding interests in English law.

A SPV trustee can be owned by a foundation or a charitable or non-charitable purpose trust.

Regulation of a GPUT in Guernsey

The requirement of a GPUT to be regulated will be dependent on the number of proposed unitholders and the sophistication of those individuals.

Where a GPUT is regulated under the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2020 (the “POI Law”), it will qualify as a “collective investment scheme”, being any arrangement relating to property (of any description):

  • where the purpose is for investors to participate in, or receive profits or income arising from, the acquisition and disposal of the property, and
  • in which investors do not exert management or control over the property to which the arrangement refers, and
  • under which:
    • The contributions of the investors and the profits and/or income out of which payments are to be made are pooled, or
    • The property is managed as a whole, by or on behalf of, the person responsible for its management

Where a GPUT is regulated under the POI Law it can also be established under the registered or authorised fund regime and as a Private Investment Fund (“PIF”).

Dixcart Team

Any persons wishing to establish a Guernsey Property Unit Trust (GPUT) will require both legal and tax advice to ensure that the GPUT is structured to meet their needs as well as a licensed Guernsey administrator to provide trustee services.

Dixcart in Guernsey hold both a full Fiduciary Licence and a Protection of Investors Licence issued by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission

Dixcart Trust Corporation Limited, Guernsey: Full Fiduciary Licence granted by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. Guernsey registered company number: 6512.

Dixcart is licensed under the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 1987 to offer PIF administration services, and holds a full fiduciary license granted by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.