10 Caribbean Island Tax Havens Worth Moving To

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Getting away from taxes is as good a reason to expatriate as any. The fact that they can be evaded by moving to a tropical island paradise makes it downright criminal. The Caribbean Sea, once home to widespread piracy and corruption, is today dotted with tax haven utopias (piracy of a slightly more sophisticated sort).

Here’s a list of 10 island tax havens in the Caribbean worth moving to:

The Bahamas

bahamas

The Bahamas have long been a tax haven favorite. It levies neither personal income nor capital gains tax, nor are there inheritance taxes.

Aruba

aruba

Aruba enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean. Since 2006, income taxes have been lowered here and revenue taxes for business reduced with 20%.

Virgin Islands

virginislands

There are both the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands, but collectively they are all tax havens. The U.S. Virgin Islands offers a 90% exemption from U.S. income taxes and 100% exemption from all other taxes and customs duties to certain qualified taxpayers. Meanwhile, the British Virgin Islands is the domicile for approximately 41% of the world’s offshore companies.

St. Kitts and Nevis

kitts

The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis (also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis), located in the Leeward Islands, is a federal two-island nation in the West Indies. Of course, the great weather and clear water are only that much more enticing knowing the islands are also tax havens!

Anguilla

anguilla

Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory and offshore banking center. Do your banking here while kicking back on a beach chair and soaking in some rays.

Barbados

Barbados

Barbados prefers the term ‘Low-tax regime’ rather than ‘Tax haven’, but that’s really just semantics. Since appearing on the 2009 OECD/G-20 white-list, the Barbados government began an international ad-campaign to market the country as the only Caribbean country to be included on the white-list.

Cayman Islands

caymen

The Cayman Islands are another British overseas territory and major offshore financial center in the Caribbean. There is no direct taxation imposed on Caymanians and Cayman Islands companies. Sweet!

Netherlands Antilles

nethantilles

In some ways, this place looks like a tropical Amsterdam. While it’s a beautiful tax haven location, prospective movers should consider that the nation  is scheduled to be dissolved as a unified political entity on October 10, 2010, so that the five constituent islands will attain new constitutional statuses within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

vincent

The country has a French and British colonial history and is now part of the Commonwealth of Nations and CARICOM. The film, Pirates of the Caribbean, was actually filmed here – apt that it is also a tax haven!

Antigua and Barbuda

antigua

Major world banks with offices in Antigua include Bank of America (Bank of Antigua), Barclays, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Scotia Bank. In fact, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has accused the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank of orchestrating a huge fraud that may have bilked investors of some $8 billion. Arrrgh, matey!

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42 Responses to “10 Caribbean Island Tax Havens Worth Moving To”

  1. Disappointed
    November 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    This is exactly what you called it. Piracy. Don’t glorify the corruption that is inherent with a nation which does not tax its citizens. Taxes are a good thing, they give the local people access to medicine and education. Please think before relocating to a country based on tax exemption.

  2. Pat
    November 30, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    Your picture of “Aruba” happens to be Thailand, not Aruba.

  3. James Blinks
    December 10, 2009 at 12:05 am #

    Reasonable taxation is OK, but double taxation is not.
    Tax authorities are greedy and fiscally irresponsible. This makes people angry at taxation.

  4. recoil
    December 18, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    Well stated, James.

  5. bellavida
    January 1, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Low taxation actually leads to a better standard of living overall for those in these counties- Speaking as someone from New Jersey, USA, my 81 year old mom can’t afford her taxes anymore while loads of government workers are able to retire at age 55- not fair in my opinion. Moving elsewhere can at least let her enjoy her remaining years.

  6. bellavida
    January 1, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    I meant to say countries actually, sorry.

  7. Tony
    January 3, 2010 at 5:52 am #

    Tax paradises…
    -Britisch Virgin Islands since 2004 forget it
    -Netherlands Antilles FORGET IT, starting 2010
    -Aruba FORGET IT strting 2010

    Most important tax heaven, for small investors but also for international worldwide companies is the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

  8. The Baldchemist
    January 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Yeh and Island was a haven also. Just be careful of so called tax havens. Believe me the cost of living is about to soar in the Carribean.

  9. lrm
    February 16, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    Disappointed:
    the taxes that are exempt are those who place their money in a location other than their home country,thereby being exempt from taxes IN THEIR HOME COUNTRY. [ie,US or UK citizen banks in a caribbean island,lives somewhere else,for example.]
    This does not imply that there are no taxes for citizens of the islands. The islands mentioned in the article have differing standards of medicine and education access-some are more 3rd world,some first world.

    Tax havens means foreign money b/c it’s seen as investing in the country and giving it political ‘clout’,internationally,and that is often the only way said countries will receive any attention whatsoever,that is not in the form of foreign debt.

  10. Anders Kanten
    April 25, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    So if i want to start a backpacker-bar/hostal somewhere in the Caribbean and not pay taxes, where should i start looking? Utila og honduras is one tip i got. Do you guys know of any other good prospects?

  11. Mr.A
    May 28, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    Lol tax’s are for chumps… who would pay the government money so that poor people could have things that they dont deserve

  12. Ken
    July 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    The idiocy and ludicrous nature of taxes at all (as well as its borderline constitutionality) is, in the eyes of the taxpayee, without sin and the taxpayor, evil beyond belief. As long as our government can fabricate weapons of mass destruction, I certainly can fabricate an offshore company or home office.

  13. Fraser
    December 8, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    This is quite sad, unless you are facing %48+ income tax, because if you are facing less, then I think you don’t need to worry about money

  14. Fraser
    December 8, 2010 at 4:11 am #

    I think super-high income tax is unfair, but if your that well off deal with it

  15. Tim
    December 13, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    Fraser your wrong. Many small neighborhood businesses in the US pay %45 to %55 after you add in all the state, local, and municipal taxes even on smaller incomes. We for example would LOVE to hire about 5 more people but after paying that plus payroll taxes the amount of extra money those 5 would generate becomes closer to 10% plus now we incur greater liability. If on the other hand taxes were around 25% TOTAL I would hire between 25 and 35 more people all at HIGHER salaries. And I am not alone, just in my LOCAL area I know of at least 30 other SMALL business owners who would hire a sum total of over 325 people if taxes were lower. My accountant also calculated that the ADDITIONAL INCOME TAXES AND PAYROLL TAXES those employees would generate even if we had only a 20% tax rate would INCREASE STATE & LOCAL REVENUES MORE THAN 47%. See, that is why a REASONABLE tax rate makes so much more sense. We all pay less each, but overall revenues go up, PLUS we then will ALL SPEND THAT extra money because you know none of us saves enough. AND that spent money generates MORE revenue for other businesses.
    You know my ECON 101 teacher taught me that 25 years ago, funny how it still works like always!!!!

  16. Joel
    December 15, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    The main tax haven as of 2010, is not an island, although there are many here, is Belize. Check it out for yourself.

  17. Dubai Offshore
    December 31, 2010 at 5:50 am #

    The caribbean islands might be a fastcinating a environment, but not for 365 days a year! We found Dubai in the United Arab Emirates a good alternative when it comes to tax minimization! No income tax, no inheritance tax and in the numerous free zones no corporate tax. The infrastructure is world class and moreover it is a very safe place.

  18. k Baines
    February 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Dubai? What about a woman on her own?

    As a woman where is the best place to retire to if you want to live a normal Western lifestyle?

  19. k Baines
    February 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Tim

    I agree :trying to run a business and employ more people is becoming more and more difficult in high tax economies like the UK. With almost 0% interest on savings it is no wonder so many of us are looking elswhere for a better life. After a lifetime of hardwork and effort it is hard to accept but:
    Our offspring are the most spoilt, materialistic and arrogant generation ever.

  20. Jeff
    February 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    We are a Catholic family with 4 children in Catholic grade, middle, and high schools. We run a home business and are giving back about 50% in taxes. We are accustomed to moving around, but have only done so if sure the kids get the Catholic education. Looking for ideas on where should we go, assuming we leave the USA? We currently on a coastal island.

  21. L
    March 19, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    The countries in the west just do brainwashing, it is horrible, get the F”"”out …..
    Taxes….money….it s all BULLLLLLSHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    we lost the contact with who we really are

  22. Low Tax Man
    March 21, 2011 at 3:37 am #

    Low taxes is not piracy. Since piracy involves an armed group seizing assets that did not originally belong to them, high taxes would better be described as piracy. Education and medicine can be purchased on the market and some countries prefer to operate in that mode. Why are we so insistent that they conform?

  23. Phil Atio
    April 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Low taxzes is not piracy, imo taxes are closer to piracy because it is a group of people (governement) taking your property against your will and under threat of violence, thats closer to piracy than saying keep your own income.

    Aruba is NOT a tax haven, it is still part of netherlands and it has a 60% income tax in the highest bracket

    Barbados also not a tax haven. The white list is a list of countries who are former tax havens but now agree to co-operate with the oecd, in handing over banking information to OECD members like USA, CANADA, BRITAIN, etc. If you do go to barbados you will pay 35% income tax and any money you are hiding will be given to your authorities in your home country AND you will be extradited and locked away.

    The largest tax free nation is Dubai and IMO the best one in the middle east, they also have no extradition with usa, so they will not extradite you unless you have other crimes that are violent in nature. My ranking of top 10 tax havens are:
    uae/dubai
    qatar
    bahrain (until recently it was good)
    cayman
    bvi
    bahamas
    berumda
    anguilla
    turks and caicos

    and
    guerseny and isle of man for those who will only run companies but do not intend to work/ take income their

  24. laurie@allaboutmexico
    May 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Why get more upset with people who have money than people who don’t. When you figure out holes in the system most will try it till it’s not allowed any longer. If you are cheating the system at any level is it ok? What if you collection unemployment and you can be out finding a job but figure you will take it easy for a while. Is that cheating the system?

    The problem is the system is broken so don’t complain about the problem suggest some solutions.

  25. AussieMe
    June 4, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    All those places is very Philippines’ appearance…
    I love it! Asia Pacific!

  26. sean
    July 8, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    as of 1/1/2012 the irs will be able to enforce countries with americians who have bank accounts in the country to seize your money..some are saying that countries will avoid this by not giving expats bank accounts anymore in the country they are living in.

  27. Laura
    July 25, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    The picture being used to show #2 (Aruba) is not a picture of Aruba. It is a picture from West Railay Beach in Thailand in the Andaman Sea.

  28. Laughing
    September 1, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    I live in St. Kitts (St. Kitts and Nevis) and I guess I would speak for any Kittitian ready this when I say, this writer doesn’t know what they’re talking about… we are dying from taxes over… only investors get tax breaks!!!

  29. Also in St. Kitts
    September 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Laughing, I also live in St. Kitts. The recently introduced taxes might seem like a lot for locals, but they’re really nothing compared to the taxes in the U.S/Canada. If you’ve ever lived abroad you would realize that we have nothing to complain about. In Canada, I had to pay 2 sales taxes on practically everything, plus income tax (nearly half my salary). Trust me, the VAT/fuel surcharge etc. is nothing compared to that.

  30. Also in St. Kitts 2
    September 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    I agree with Also in St. Kitts. St. Kitts was recently ridiculously tax free in all sorts – no income tax, no Value Added Tax, practically no tax at all except a bunch of minor miscellaneous ones that were nothing compared to neighbouring islands. The recently introduced taxes, though seemingly harsh to locals compared to their life before is actually far below the amount of tax paid in the USA and Canada. It’s harsher for locals though because the low taxes coincided with low salaries but the tax increase did not see a salary increase.

  31. april
    October 7, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    K baines… St Thomas USVI is a great place you can still have a western lifestyle, make money and have fun. I lived there for three years and am about to go back.

  32. curious
    October 16, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    Anyone live in Cayman or Turks and Caicos? I’m curious about life style and taxes in these two places.

  33. Shawn
    December 19, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    Your picture of Aruba is not Aruba…

  34. khorram
    February 6, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    So called “Tax Free”. They tax you so many other ways but they dont call it tax.

    Dubai is a good example of this. Also you have no status.

  35. ASer
    March 12, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    I live and work in turks and caicos Island. We are taxe free here but the gov’t. increases the import duties on liquors, cigars and thosecommodities that make people obese.
    Almost of the comodities were imported from the US and the neighboring countries. So the cost of living is high but it depends on how we manage our expenses..

    Some locals go to Miami and purchase goods and shipped it to the Island so they could save.

    Apartment rentals dropped down from $3000 to 2,000, 1,500 to 1000 depending on the location. There are low cost apartment including utilities for $ 650.00 per month..

    Transportation: There were local taxis ( a van), will cost you 34 to 40 USD if you are alone and 10 usd if you have companions.. There were illegal taxis (called Jitney) which cost only 2 usd to 3 usd..(small car.auto)

    Lots of celebrities visiting this island…Some buying propoerties..

    Life is slow here. I like to live here.. peaceful..

    Not so much of night life.. there were some Irish bar, wine bars with local band.. Restaurants near the beach area…

    Crime? there were few in a week and is the talk of the town…..

  36. Notax
    March 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    As of 2012, many of the Caribbean islands seem to collect their public revenues from import duties and tariffs, which is a bad thing, if you are planning on living on these islands and building a dream home there (as you have to import most of everything from abroad, as there are no local production for most goods that go into a high standard of living).

    So, establishing residency and offshore incorporation in, say, zero personal and corporate taxation Cayman Islands seems like a great idea, but actually living there, not so much.

  37. Bali
    May 8, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Hi There
    I havnt lived in the UK for 12 years, the last 11 have been here in Bali Indonesia. I built a small property by the sea and am in the process of selling the lease and being in funds again. So where next? Im a British citizen NR an NOR and need to invest offshore not in a UK bank. Im an artist so im looking for a place that inspires! I love the Carribean and useful expat info would be much appreciated.
    Thank you

  38. stacy
    July 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    The information on the USVI is erroneous. They are under the same exact tax structure as the US is as far as individuals paying taxes. In that regard, it’s like another state. There is no 90% exemption. And it is very expensive to live there because everything is imported from the US. The only real advantage other than the obvious of living on a beautiful island is the customs allowance when coming back to the US if you buy items such as alcohol, jewelry, electronics. Now that the airlines have made it so expensive to pack an extra box of alcohol as baggage, it pretty much cancels out the savings you were getting by buying the alcohol cheap there.

  39. KC
    December 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Living in Canada used to be cool … Now it “SUCKS” !!!
    The Gubament is collecting 200+ billion a year
    in all forms of taxes, spending it on whatever crap
    they can dream up to get themselves kickbacks from (FRAUD,
    drowning the country in debt (any where from 450 billion, to
    1.1 Trillon, depending how you (they) look at it,
    and creating so many BS laws that make you not want
    to leave your house …GIMME A ONE WAY TICKET OUTTA HERE !!!

  40. A
    March 31, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Taxes are very high in the west, the main reason is most poeple are now lesy , they don’t want to work the only want free staff. If you are poor stay in the west and enjoy the freebies. If you earn $500,0000 live for singapore. low tax, oppotunity and great weath.

  41. Jason
    March 31, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    The west is only good for poor people because they get free staff. Every one just wants to stay at home and collect welfare instead of working. I am from trinadad and tobago oil enginer enjoying life, high salary very low tax. My biggest expence are my cars and my house. In the future it will be poor west rich asia pacific and south asia has an emerging market. The west is going down the drain. Lucky i don’t live there. Places with no future full of dept.

  42. Exploring Cayman
    April 19, 2014 at 3:19 am #

    Cayman is a wonderful place, but it is impossible to attain citizenship, only slightly less difficult to move there permanently. For most, even if you buy property you can only stay for six months. Then you go home. If you are a guest worker, you get seven years then off you go.

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