GSL / Foreign Companies Audit / Audit BVI

BVI company audit, financial statements, accounting, consulting in the British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands is perhaps the best known offshore in the world, the so-called ‘classic offshore’. Despite the introduction of a mandatory beneficial ownership register, buying a company in the BVI is still popular. BVI companies have no obligation to file financial and tax returns, nor are they required to prepare or file financial statements, annual accounts or other types of accounts. In addition, there is no requirement to prepare and file income tax returns.

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Service packages Legislation Tax System Audit Services
Preparation and submission of accounts
from 2 700 USD
Preparation and submission of dormant accounts (for a dormant company)
from 1 800 USD
Apostille of financial statements (if necessary)
from 550 USD

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Legal requirements

All business companies registered in the BVI should keep accounting records in such form and volume that may reflect the company’s activity and truthfully show financial status of the company.

BVI Business Company’s Act provides minimum obligations for submission of any statements and returns. Business companies registered in the BVI are not obliged to prepare and file financial statements, annual reports and other types of returns. The exemption is made for private, professional and public funds and other licensed structures.

Under the law the companies are obliged to keep accounting records and attesting documents for 5 years starting from the date of relevant transaction. All documents supporting company’s activity should be kept at the office of the company’s registered agent or at any other place (on the territory of the BVI or outside it) determined by the directors of the company.

If the records are kept with the registered agent, no further action is required. If the records are not kept with the registered agent, the companies serviced by the registered agent must notify the registered agent in writing (including by email) of the location where the accounting records are kept.

If the records are maintained exclusively electronically, the location of the server on which they are maintained is sufficient for purposes of meeting these requirements; if they are maintained on a virtual server, the location of the primary access points to those records.

The notion of storing "accounting records" implies that such records:

  1. explain all transactions in a correct manner;
  2. make it possible to determine the financial position of the organization with a sufficient degree of accuracy at any given time;
  3. make it possible to prepare financial statements;
  4. are accompanied by primary documents (such as invoices and contracts) that:
  • contain information about the amount and amounts of receipts and expenditures,
  • contain information on all sales and purchases and other financial transactions,
  • identify the assets and liabilities of the respective organization.

The retention of general information, such as accounting policies, is not sufficient to meet these requirements.

The rules regarding controlled foreign companies are stated in Chapter 25 of Tax Code of the Russian Federation.

Types of statements

  • Audited financial statements
  • Management statements

Audit

As a general rule companies don’t have a liability to undertake financial audit and to submit audited accounts to state authorities. Financial statements cannot be publically accessed.

However under the Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 («SIBA») and Mutual Funds Act («Funds») all private, professional and public funds, as well as all licensed organizations («Licensees»), must appoint an auditor and prepare an audit of their financial statements, unless explicitly exempted from this requirement.

According to the rules regarding controlled foreign companies (CFC) financial statements should be prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). A positive audit opinion of an independent auditor is also required

Terms of preparations and submission of financial statements

All funds and licensees must submit audited financial statements to the BVI Financial Services Commission during 6 months from the end of the fiscal year.

Under the CFC rules the deadline for submission of the accounts to the Russian tax authorities – April 30

Liability for non-compliance with law requirements

If a company does not comply with law requirements to keep accounting records and attesting documents a penalty in amount of 50 000 USD will be imposed.

In cases a company does not provide accounting records and documents on international request which is made according to one of the agreements on exchange of tax information set by the BVI the penalty increases to 100 000 USD.

In addition to the fine, the law also provides for imprisonment for the period up to 5 years

In case financial statements for a Controlled Foreign Company will not be submitted then a penalty of 500 000 rubles will be charged. The penalty is imposed on a person with control.

Consolidated financial statements

There are no requirements to prepare consolidated financial statements.

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The cost of opening an account, $
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Countrywide rating
GSL rating
3 030
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2 750
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1 820
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