Wealth Management
More than just a holiday destination – spot on Cyprus

Popular holiday destination or major international financial centre? Both, says Harris Makriyiannis. The Managing Director of Leo Trust Cyprus talks also about services, products, the future – and eco-label awarded beaches.

August 11, 2022

How long have clients been able to count on the expertise of Leo Trust Cyprus?

Harris Makriyiannis: Leo Trust has been offering quality service for eight years, through its Cyprus subsidiary.

Speaking of quality service, what does Leo Trust Cyprus offer?

We offer a wide spectrum of fiduciary and corporate services inclusive of multi-jurisdictional company structure set-up, trustee services, accounting services, company restructuring and together as Leo Group, we offer asset management, wealth management and estate management.

From services to products - Harris, please describe the following products. 

a) Cyprus Permanent Residence By Investment

The Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit (PRP) program is geared towards non-EU nationals that want to become Cyprus residents. The applicant must invest at least €300,000 in one of the following investment categories: In a house or apartment, in other types of real estate: e.g. offices, shops or a combination of real-estate developments, investment in a local company with business activities with substance in Cyprus or investment in a Cyprus based fund.

PRP approval by the authorities is typically 3-5 months after filing (depending on application backlog). Once approved, there is no need for renewal and it covers, spouses and children up to 18 years of age.

b) Becoming A Cyprus Tax Resident

First time tax residents as well as returning ex-patriots benefit from an exemption on income tax for overseas employment, 50% exemption on income tax on remuneration for any employment exercised in Cyprus for a 10 year period, provided this income exceeds EUR 100,000 per annum (20% exemption if less than EUR 100,000 per annum), no tax on dividends, interest or gains on the disposal of investments and an exemption from capital gains tax on the sale of real estate. Furthermore, there is no estate duty, wealth tax gift tax or inheritance tax in Cyprus.

There are two ways to become a Cyprus tax resident:

183 days rule

A physical presence in Cyprus exceeding 183 days in a tax year (1st January to 31st December) will constitute tax residency for an individual. Therefore, if an individual is physically present in Cyprus for more than 183 days in a tax year, they will be considered a tax resident of Cyprus in that tax year.

60 days rule

An individual who does not stay in any other country, for one or more period(-s) exceeding in aggregate 183 days in the same tax year and is not tax resident in any other country for the same year, is deemed as a resident in Cyprus in that tax year – if the following conditions are all met:

The individual stays in Cyprus for at least 60 days in the tax year, exercises a business and/or is employed in Cyprus and/or holds an office with a Cyprus tax resident company at any time during the tax year, maintains (by owning or leasing) a permanent home in Cyprus.

 

c) Intellectual Property

Cyprus offers an extremely efficient Intellectual Property (IP) tax regime. 80% of worldwide royalty income qualified from IP owned Cyprus resident companies is exempt from income tax. The remaining 20% will then be subject to the standard corporate tax rate of 12.5%, to give an effective tax rate of 2.5% or less.

Research and Development (R&D) either in Cyprus or through a branch of the Cyprus legal entity in another jurisdiction is required for the Cyprus legal entity to benefit from the reduced tax. Eligible forms of IP include: Copyrights, inclusive of iterary work, dramatics works, computer software and applications, scientific work, databases, recordings, trademarks, publications, art, patents and inventions, broadcasts and film and patented inventions.

 

d) Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Crypto Asset Services Provider (CASP)

Following the transposition of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive V (AMLD V) into Cyprus law, on the 25th June 2021, CySEC announced that it would begin to accept Crypto-Asset Service Provider (CASP) license applications, making Cyprus one of the first countries within the EU to allow this. There are three different categories of licenses which allow the CASP license holder to offer different services from just investment advice to portfolio management and custodianship of crypto currencies for clients.

Together with our expert associates, we undertake to design the CASP structure, prepare the application inclusive of the required business plan, internal operations, AML manuals and submitting and follow-up with the regulator.

e) Cyprus Digital Nomad Visa Scheme

The scheme allows third-country nationals, from non-EU and non-EEA countries, to work location-independently and at the same time permitting them to reside with their families in Cyprus and work for an employer registered abroad or perform work as a self-employed individual providing services to companies or clients situated abroad

 

f) Cyprus International Trust

The formation of a Cyprus International Trust (CIT) provides for a high level of confidentiality, but also a very high threshold of asset protection. The assets settled into the trust are sheltered against potential claims. Assets are also sheltered against subsequent bankruptcy or liquidation of the settlor, or creditor’s action against the settlor – irrespective of whether the trust was set up without consideration or to the benefit of the settlor or his/her family – unless it can be proven that the CIT was set up with intention of the settlor to defraud his creditors. 

It is worth noting that the trust property can include all types of assets, movable or immovable, situated anywhere in the world, provided that the trustee has legal control and ownership of the assets.

In terms of anonymity, at the companies registrar level, only the trustee is registered. There is a requirement for the trust, its settlor, trustee, protector, enforcer and beneficiaries to be registered through CySEC’s trust registry. This registry is not available to the public for inspection and can only be inspected by the competent authorities or through a court order.

Popular holiday destination and major international financial centre. A few words about Cyprus?

That's exactly what Cyprus is. It offers quality, value for money, an attractive tourism and at the same time a highly skilled workforce, access to the EU market and with its citizens having one of the highest EU percentages in tertiary education. Cyprus situated at a crossroad between Europe, Asia and the Middle East, provides modern infrastructure and is relatively inexpensive to do business and to live.

For all those beach lovers out there, Cyprus is the proud recipient of 74 Blue Flag beaches - an eco-label awarded to beaches and marinas across the globe that meet its standards - and is also crowned «Cleanest Bathing Waters in Europe», with a consistent 100% score, year after year. 

From Cyprus to Switzerland: What is the cooperation with Leo Trust Switzerland like?

We have an excellent collaboration with Leo Trust Switzerland; we feel part of the family and personally, I believe that this type of relationship is the only way to succeed. Globalization and the rapid advances in technology and means for communication, is allowing us to offer services as a group and not just as individual companies.

Leo Trust is an international group with international clients requesting services in multiple jurisdictions, therefore having employees with the mindset that they are «citizens of the world» is an advantage.

  

Leo Trust is a dynamic financial services provider. What can we expect from the foreseeable future?

You can expect the group to expand its physical presence into the Middle East – with collaborations and a Leo office to be based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), probably Dubai. This expansion could be led by the Cyprus team due to my extensive experience of living and working in the UAE as well as to Cyprus’s proximity to the region. Furthermore, you can expect a shift into the FinTech industry with various services around «crypto» being offered and embedded in our current and new clients’ portfolios.

Regarding what you can expect from Leo Cyprus is to promote the services discussed earlier as well as further offers including the promotion of Cyprus funds and fund management licenses. Cyprus is becoming a regional player for individuals and companies alike that want to have a foothold in the EU with competitive corporate and personal tax rates while enjoying great weather, food and professional business relationships.

Nicely put, Harris, thank you for this interview!

Do you have any inquiries? Harris Makriyiannis, Managing Director Leo Trust Cyprus Ltd, will provide you with the information you need.

This article is aimed at providing a general overview and summary of the issue. It is non-binding, and does not and should not be taken to constitute legal advice.

No items found.
Read more
You might also be interested in these
Wealth Management
Family business – it's all about resilience

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on family businesses, especially with respect to operations, investments, digital money and the coaching of the next generation.

September 2, 2022
Jurisdictions
Beneficial ownership – in the UK and the Economic Crime Act 2022

It is time to raise the awareness of the UK’s registers that it has put into place and intends to introduce regarding beneficial ownerships, which refers to the person who ultimately owns or controls an asset such as a property or a company and may differ from the legal owner. The purpose of beneficial ownership registers is to prevent individuals from being able to hide assets and income on which they own tax.

September 12, 2022
Wealth Management
More than just a holiday destination – spot on Cyprus

Popular holiday destination or major international financial centre? Both, says Harris Makriyiannis. The Managing Director of Leo Trust Cyprus talks also about services, products, the future – and eco-label awarded beaches.

August 11, 2022
Crypto Assets
Digital assets – ignition material in estate planning

Digital assets are increasingly becoming a fixed portfolio component of a demanding international clientele. In terms of effective estate planning, however, digital assets still lead a wallflower existence today.

July 11, 2022
In Estate
Swiss inheritance law – everything new?

Attention! If you are Swiss and want your estate to be secure, you need to take into account the revised Swiss inheritance law that comes into force on January 1st, 2023. Not everything will change, but one of the new features is that from 2023 testators will be able to freely dispose of a larger part of their estate.

July 1, 2022
Wealth Management
Global uncertainty? Asset protection!

Asia Outbound, designed to assist corporate structuring, asset protection, and immigration service providers, is one of the most trusted resources for Asia’s business and investment leaders. Leo Trust was not just attending this year’s Asia Outbound Summit in Dubai but participating with various key-note speeches.

June 16, 2022
Wealth Management
WEF 2022 – live tokenization, digitization

What Leo Trust specialised in a few years ago was a much-discussed topic at this year's World Economic Forum: Non-Fungible Tokens, NFT. Leo Trust shed light on the fascination of NFT from an investment perspective at the WEF in Davos – and captivated the numerous guests with a live tokenization of a work of art.

June 10, 2022
Wealth Management
Swiss trust – quo vadis?

Trusts have become an integral part of international wealth structuring and estate planning. Switzerland does not yet have its own trust law. Nevertheless, in 2018 the Federal Council was mandated to create the legal basis for a Swiss trust to strengthen Switzerland as a financial centre. But what is the situation today and what does the future hold?

June 3, 2022
Wealth Management
Setting sail again – STEP Alpine Conference 2022!

Interlaken was calling. A delegation of Leo Trust Switzerland participated this year’s STEP Alpine Conference and talked, amongst others, about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the private client industry and provided insights to more than 300 participants.

May 23, 2022
Private Clients
Leo Trust special event: online investment fraud - the phenomenon

At Leo Trust’s special event, special investigator of the Kantonspolizei Zürich, Adrian Leuzinger, appeared in front of a «full house». The deputy head of the task force did not, of course, go into the tactical and technical procedures of the police, but nevertheless revealed a great deal.

April 1, 2022
Wealth Management
Flat-rate taxation? Lump-sum? Switzerland is calling!

Switzerland's flat-rate taxation is an attractive tax model for wealthy foreign individuals. The approved flat-rate taxation, also called «lump-sum», «golden visa» or «tax ruling», is at the same time a residence permit. But beware: Requirements, handling, assessment bases etc. can vary from canton to canton. Moreover, not every canton offers this tax model.

April 10, 2022
Wealth Management
Whom do you trust: human or machine?

Trust is an integral part of customer relationships and services, including digital services. But what are trust factors, what about the charter of trust – and what role plays artificial intelligence?

March 8, 2022
Wealth Management
Sequel: Best Institutional Trust or Fiduciary Company

Didn’t you always want to know what sets Leo Trust apart from its peers? How Leo Trust masters the challenging environment? Be ready for some key insights.

February 9, 2022
Wealth Management
Best Institutional Trust or Fiduciary Company

Thanks to client-centric and trust-based strategy, first-class service quality, committed interdisciplinary teams of trust experts and the optimal position to provide highly complied crypto currency services – Leo Trust Switzerland wins the WealthBriefing Swiss Awards 2022 in the category «Institutional Trust or Fiduciary Company».

February 4, 2022
Crypto Assets
Digital assets – the importance of an agile risk assessment framework

Investors and trustees need a clearer assessment of their investment risks, which calls for new risk assessment models and tax regulations for crypto assets.

January 19, 2022
Jurisdictions
Upcoming changes to Panama accounting requirements

In 2022, Panama will enforce two new obligations on entities: exclusively asset holding companies will be subject to the requirement to maintain accounting records going back five years, and both «commercial» entities operating outside Panama and exclusively asset holding entities will be obliged to submit annual accounting records to their Resident Agents.

January 5, 2022
Jurisdictions
How Cyprus attracts investment and talent

On 15 October 2021, Cyprus approved the «Strategy for Attracting Businesses for Activities or/and Expansion of their Activities in Cyprus». With various key proposals, this action plan offers significant advantages for investors in Cyprus – and shows how Cyprus is becoming ever more business friendly.

January 3, 2022
Crypto Assets
Crypto assets - review and outlook

Leo Trust’s CEO, Dimitar Jauch, reviews the past year and gazes into the future to predict what the new year promises for our crypto offering.

December 31, 2021
In Estate
Estate planning – lifetime gift with usufruct

Forward-looking asset management includes estate planning. If assets are inherited on death or given away during the donor’s lifetime, inheritance or gift taxes are incurred. It is possible to reduce the tax burden by making a gift during your lifetime, with a usufruct.

December 24, 2021
Crypto Assets
Trust structures with crypto assets

Leo Trust is a pioneer in planning and implementing trust structures which incorporate crypto assets. In this interview, Dimitar Jauch, CEO of Leo Trust, talks about the advantages, risks, and costs of such structures. He also answers questions about the complexity and adaptability of these structures – and covers data security, estate planning, speed to market as well as philanthropy.

December 14, 2021
Jurisdictions
Economic Substance & Beneficial Ownership Reporting – UPDATE

Economic Substance Act, Beneficial Onwership Act, possible sanctions, deadlines ... Are you keen on some insights on Bahamas, Belize, B.V.I., Cayman Islands, Marshall Islands Panama and Cyprus?

April 13, 2022
Engagement
Leo Trust goes polo

Polo sport is interdisciplinary, sophisticated, strategically challenging and racy. On top of that, it is synergizing tradition and innovation. No wonder we were excited to be part of the Patrons Cup.

September 29, 2021
Wealth Management
STEP Private Client Awards – and the winner is …

Congratulations to Accuro Fiduciary, the winner of the STEP Private Client Awards 2021/2022 – category trust company of the year (midsize firm).

September 24, 2021
Private Clients
Trust is Imperative in a Family Office Banking Relationship

What may lead to a loss of trust between Swiss family offices and Swiss financial institutions and how it may be restored.

August 26, 2021
Wealth Management
Leo Trust Switzerland is nominated for trust company of the year

Leo Trust Switzerland has been shortlisted in the category of trust company of the year (midsize firm) in the prestigious STEP Private Client Awards, which highlights excellence among private client advisors in the international trust and financial services industry.

July 9, 2021
Wealth Management
WEBINAR: Wealth Management and Asset Protection in the new Global Tax Environment

In front of around 25 select onsite attendees and 30 online participants, six experts guided the listeners through specific highlights such as state-of-the-art estate planning, asset management with cryptocurrencies, asset protection based on a real life case study with savvy take-aways and the evolution of corporate services in the new global tax environment.

June 22, 2021
Private Clients
SEMINAR: Wealth Planning for Chinese Family - Diversify, Protect & Grow

Leo Trust hosts a wealth planning seminar for Chinese HNWI. Lauren Nan, Relationship Manager Key Clients at Leo Trust, will show how Chinese families in particular can diversify, protect and grow their wealth.

June 18, 2021
Asset Management
Crypto stocks are «coming of age» - and thus attractive for portfolios

Crypto assets are digital equivalents of real assets, technically managed via blockchain or distributed ledger. This class of assets is young, making it correspondingly difficult to forecast its development. But it is already clear today: crypto-assets have a future!

June 11, 2021
Asset Management
Crypto products fit in every basket

Actively Managed Certificates. They are a way to integrate crypto assets into an investment portfolio.

May 12, 2021
Private Clients
Family Offices, Trusts & Co: The future of a traditional business model

Leo Trust Switzerland AG is a globally active financial services provider for 40 years, offering a variety of services for institutional and private clients. However, the business is changing. On the one hand, due to constantly changing regulatory standards and laws; on the other hand, due to digitalisation, globalisation and highly specific client expectations.

November 25, 2020
Private Clients
New impulses for a traditional business model

Leo Trust Switzerland AG is a globally active financial services provider for 40 years; with a broad spectrum of services for institutional and private clients. Since April, the operational management company based in Zurich has been overseen by the 31-year-old CEO Dimitar Jauch. In this interview, he talks about changes in the competitive environment, where and why the digitalisation of the business makes sense, the balance between the tried and tested and change - but above all about why Switzerland has a future as a financial centre.

October 30, 2020