There is a lot of confusion about offshore funds.
They key issues are these:-
- They come in many guises and different packages, so the fact that a fund is offshore tells you nothing about the structure, charges etc. You must assess each fund individually.
- The regulations that govern the offshore investment may or may not be adequate. There are some very well regulated jurisdictions (such as the Isle of Man, home to the offshore arms of many UK financial services companies), but others that are less so.
- Compensation scheme protection may not be as strong as in the UK.
- The tax implications depend very much on your tax position, not that of the fund. It is perfectly common for a fund to be exempt from any taxes in the country in which it is based, but for you to be fully taxable on any income, profits or gains that the fund makes, either as it makes them or when you take them.
- In general there are few tax benefits for the ordinary UK resident taxpayer of using offshore funds.
- There can be tax advantages for UK nationals living overseas, (or intending to do so for at least a whole tax year) or foreign nationals living in the UK.
The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount you originally invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.
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