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Gibraltar Minister Sets Out Plans To Grow Financial Sector

by Ulrika Lomas, Lowtax.net, Brussels
07 July, 2014

Gibraltar's Minister for Financial Services, Albert Isola, has credited significant changes to the tax regime with the improved performance of the territory's financial services industry, but has acknowledged more needs to be done to promote the territory.

He noted in particular that the transition from an offshore to an onshore tax system, under the Income Tax Act of 2010, has been "absolutely fundamental to our success as a Financial Services Jurisdiction." This repealed tax breaks for offshore companies and instead installed a low-rate corporate tax regime based on international standards and transparency.

Isola said that, while there was an increase in finance sector employment last year, "there is no doubt that as a Financial Services Jurisdiction we will need to work harder than ever before to catch up on the lost years where unfortunately – and I genuinely mean unfortunately – our investment in business development and raising Gibraltar's profile fell short of where it should have been."

"With renewed vigor and energy that this Government has brought to the Finance Center Department, now known as Gibraltar Finance (the island's inward investment promotion agency), we will catch up and we will maximize our ability to attract new business to Gibraltar," he said.

The Government is also planning a number of enhancements to the territory's financial services offerings, including through the 2014 Companies Act. Gibraltar is preparing legislation to introduce private trust companies; purpose trusts; foundations; and Qualified Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS), following recent consultations with the UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs.

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