Article in Island Spirit Magazine – Issue 85 – January – March 2019
By Tony Wilson
THERE are many reasons so many of us choose to call Vanuatu home. Some come for the laid back lifestyle, others the weather and some to simply enjoy the unique culture.
Vanuatu has long been heralded for its attractive taxation laws which allow for residents to not only enjoy the lifestyle but to do so knowing their investment is working for them.
The absence of income tax makes Vanuatu one of the few remaining low tax destinations for businesses, would-be businesses and individuals looking for new horizons, and it is right on Australia, New Zealand and Asia’s door step.
Law Partners, one of Vanuatu’s leading chartered accountants and business advisory groups is geared to helping take advantage of what Vanuatu has to offer, now and into the future.
“Today any business setting up in Vanuatu quickly realises that a no income tax scenario is not only attractive but actually gives that business a real advantage,’’ said Jonathan Law, a Law Partners principal.
“We have VAT in Vanuatu which is a far simpler and less stressful procedure.
“And of course, not having to spend hours collating and preparing paperwork for income tax returns means more time can be spent on building the business itself, which is also a valuable advantage.’’
Jonathan also explained that Vanuatu is the longest established off shore financial centre in the Pacific with a history of more than 35 years.
“Apart from no personal or corporate income taxes, Vanuatu does not have any capital gains or withholding tax, no estate or death duties and no exchange controls,’’ he said.
“So, in general terms there is far less regulation in Vanuatu across the board than you would see in Australia, New Zealand and other countries and frequently we are hearing of or meeting people who have left these countries because of over regulation.
All this added stress drops off your shoulders in Vanuatu as soon as you walk off the plane.
Law Partners is Vanuatu’s longest established internationally connected firm of chartered accountants, auditors and business advisors having commenced business in 1970.
They have a wealth of experience in dealing with both local and international businesses.
Jonathan said he believed that Vanuatu had recovered from Cyclone Pam which devastated the country in March 2015 and is poised for the next major wave of development. Many of the infrastructure projects are now completed or near completion.
“Next year we will see a new international runway operating in Port Vila and that will open a major tourism door to direct flights from Asia and the west coast of America,’’ he said.
“This should lead to a range of new businesses being needed in the tourism and related industries and we are talking about small businesses as well as major ones.
“So, there are opportunities now to start new businesses in Vanuatu and establish them before our tourism stocks increase.’’
The other Law Partners principal, Vicki Joe, said another major appeal of living in Vanuatu is its wonderful lifestyle.
“We have everything you can think of except there are still no traffic lights or parking meters in the country’’.
“We have many sports like tennis, golf, cricket, football and horse riding and it is easy to pack up a lunch and go with family and friends to a range of beaches.
“We have world class reefs, so snorkelling and diving are popular as are boating and fishing.
“The streets are safe and there is little crime compared to western countries.
“The meat, fish and fresh produce are all excellent and we have the best restaurants in the Pacific.
The ni Vanuatu people have been voted the friendliest in the world twice and the pace of life reminds you of living in Australia in the 1960s.
“We have top class French and English schools and this has to be one of the greatest places on earth to raise children.’’
Vicki said when you combine the financial benefits and the unsurpassed lifestyle, it makes Vanuatu the ideal proposition to do business.