To understand what represents the concept of the offshore jurisdiction, we offer at first deal with what exactly is an offshore.
Offshore – is a company which is registered in the country, which has a preferential tax treatment or it is replaced by a fixed duty, which is a particular type of ownership and limited to the conduct of business in the territory of the country of registration. Offshore enables the company to continue to carry out foreign trade activities, paying only a fixed annual fee at the place of registration.
Offshore jurisdiction (from eng. «off shore» – offshore, outside) – is a territory of a certain state or a part thereof, within which foreign companies are operating a special preferential regime of business registration and taxation. Such a company usually conducts its business activities outside that country. In some countries, as such terms are used to refer to tax havens as a “tax shelter” or “tax haven” (from eng. «tax haven».), as well as “tax paradise”.
The essence of the offshore jurisdictions and their classification
The offshore areas are in themselves a subsystem service zones in special economic zones.
Typical offshore jurisdictions unlike classical SEZ have only two differences: in the SEZ, for example, it is possible to engage in activities within the zone, and in the offshore is no such possibility; SEZ unlike offshore can obtain resident status.
Moreover, in the offshore areas you can simply pay annual fee, regardless of the scale of your operation, and in the SEZ is necessary to pay all taxes and fees, ie there is a direct correlation between the economic performance of enterprises and pay taxes.
The difference between the countries with moderate taxation and the classic offshore is that with moderate taxation of the country are often more open than the classic offshore countries (the latter focused on client confidentiality, paying less attention to the violation of financial issues and so forth.); with moderate taxation countries often sign a bilateral agreement to avoid double taxation, which do not allow classic offshore.
Among them are:
- countries with moderate taxation: the practice of a number of developed countries, which together with the relatively high taxes introduced preferential tax treatment in respect of a number of types of businesses (so-called onshore-offshore country..), but the positive aspects – political and economic stability, as well as many agreements on avoidance of double taxation and other things.
- tax havens: the classic offshore countries in which there is a preferential tax treatment for foreign non-resident companies. Companies are required to conduct their activities outside offshore (distinguishing characteristic of the classic offshore companies)
- tax shelters: both domestic offshore companies in the country, where there are preferential modes for registered organizations to conduct their activities outside the country. Unlike tax shelters it is that it acts only in the oasis and not across the country. Often it is used by companies of the same country as a tax haven, in order to optimize taxes.
List of offshore areas
The list of offshore areas approved by the Cabinet of Ministers
Offshore areas – Ukrainian list, the current version of 2016.
The list of offshore zones has been approved for the first time in Ukraine in 2003. After that, the Government has made a number of statements, but at the moment this list still remains unchanged and is acting in accordance with para. 161.2 Art. 161 of the Tax Code (27-55-17).
Offshore zone of Russia – a list of the Ministry of Finance
List of offshore zones approved by the order of the RF Ministry of Finance from 13.11.2007 №108n (registration in the Ministry of Justice from 03.12.2007 №10598).
Offshore zone of Russia – a list of the Central Bank
Annex to the Decree of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation “On the Procedure for establishing the authorized banks of correspondent relations with non-resident banks” from 07.08.2003 №1317-U.
Belarus: list of offshore areas
The Republic of Belarus is guided by a list of offshore zones, which was approved by Presidential Decree of 21.01.2011 №31. In 2007 and 2010 were made in the list of editors, and then was added to another jurisdiction – the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Ukraine: current list of offshore zones, 2016
The Ukrainian government has repeatedly stated its intention to make adjustments to the list of offshore zones, the 2012 edition. But today, the list remains in force in accordance with para. 161.2 Art. 161 of the Tax Code of the country (2755-17).
The OECD offshore area – list from 02.04.2009
List of offshore zones approved by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This economic development of the Commonwealth countries, guided by the principles of freedom in the market development of the economy and the government’s democracy.
The Republic of Kazakhstan – the list of offshore zones
The list of offshore zones approved by order of the Ministry of Finance from 10.02.2010 №52 to comply with the principles of the State specified in the Law “On counteraction to legalization (laundering) of illegally acquired and financing of terrorism.”