Many people wonder where is the ideal place to retire and safeguard their assets against taxes. Governments of countries all over the world are finding new ways to impose new taxes on their residents. One of the countries that is doing the opposite of this is Monaco. The Principality of Monaco is not a tax heaven but it has amazing benefits and is one of the most attractive locations for High Net Worth individuals looking for a place to retire.
Situated in the heart of Europe, the Principality is located on the Mediterranean Sea between the Italian border and Nice. The language the most spoken are French and English. In this article, we will review some of the benefits of relocating to Monaco and we will give you more information about the process of making it your new home.
Requirements for Residency
In order to become a resident of Monaco, you will need to satisfy a few requirements. Here is a list of a few of them.
- Providing proof of sufficient funds to live in Monaco.
- Forming a Monaco company
The first requirement is simple. The government wants a deposit of 500,000.00 euros into a bank account. You will find that most Private Bank in Monaco will have a minimum account opening of 1 million. It can also be even higher than that if you happen to have USA citizenship. At Harrison Brook, we have been partnering with Monaco Private Banks for years and can identify which one might be a good fit for your specific situation.
How to choose the best Private Bank in Monaco
There are many great Private Banks in Monaco. Most of them offer similar products and services but not all of them offer the same quality and exceptional customer service. Here are a few services that are offered:
- Investment and wealth management
- Estate and tax planning
- Mortgage and Lending services
- Banking and credit services
- Philanthropy service
If you are planning on moving to Monaco, you might want to understand the real estate market and the lending services that Private Banks offer. Most Private Banks will offer the possibility to their clients to transfer an existing investment portfolio and use it as collateral to offer a mortgage with a low rate. There is usually no income requirement and the rate is usually really attractive.
Depending on your family situation, Net Worth, and credit needs, you will want to interview a few Banks before making your decision. Some Banks will have better investment solutions than others so it is important to be familiar with all the options available to you before making this important decision.
It is also important to know that most Private Banks will have different requirements for clients with American citizenship. Some Banks will have a higher minimum account opening which could be from 1 million up to 5 million. This is because of the rules and regulations in place that requires all non-US financial institutions to notify the IRS of any US-connected clients doing business with them. It is also good to remember that US-connected individuals would still be liable to income tax in the US while living in Monaco.
Let’s look at a few of the financial benefits of making Monaco your new tax residency.
- No income tax
- Low corporation tax
- No capital gain or dividend tax
- No real estate tax
- Low estate tax
You might be wondering if it is possible for a country to not impose any income, capital, or dividend tax and still be able to provide great services to its citizens. Monaco is a great example. Taxation in Monaco is one of the most attractive benefits for Ultra High Net Worth families. If you come from a country with a high-income tax or a high estate tax like in France, it can be a game changer for wealth preservation and transfer to the next generation.
There are 2 exceptions to the principle of no direct taxation.
The first one is for French citizens. French nationals have to pay taxes in France while living in Monaco unless they can prove that they lived in Monaco for at least 5 years before October 31st, 1962.
The other one is for companies earning more than 25% of their turnover outside of the Principality and companies whose activities consist of earning revenues from patents and literary or artistic property rights, are subject to a tax of 33.33 % on profits.
Inheritance tax benefit
There is no inheritance tax for direct line of descendance (spouse or kids). It is 8% between siblings, 10% between uncles and aunts, 13% for other relatives and 16% for non-relatives. This can be a huge benefit depending on the country you live in at the moment. For example in France, kids and relatives can pay up to 45% and non-relatives up to 60%.
Process and other benefits of the Monaco Resident card
- 4-6 weeks application process from interview
- visa-free travel within the Schengen zone
Life in the Principality
Life in the Principality has its advantages. Because of the affluence and number of ex-pats living in Monaco, most people speak English and you would not need to speak french to live there. It has amazing weather all year round with 300 days of sunshine annually. Being on the Mediterranean Sea, you can benefit from a great quality of life. Monaco prides itself on having world-class infrastructure and healthcare facilities. It is also one of the safest places to live. There is more than one police officer for every 100 residents.
In conclusion, if you are thinking about making Monaco your new tax residency and you are looking for a cross-border financial adviser to assist you in this journey, at Harrison Brook, we have great partnerships with Private Banks in Monaco and understand all the choices available to you and want to make sure you make an informed decision. We can also fill in the gaps that Private Banks won’t be able to do like managing Private Pensions (UK, US). Don’t hesitate to reach out.