Offshore Tax Havens: Protecting Your Assets & Preserving Your Wealth
Why International Offshore Tax Havens?
The litigation explosion is forcing professionals and small business owners to focus on ways and strategies to protect their savings, investments and other accumulated assets that may become attractive to potential contingent fee trial lawyers and international offshore tax havens are a popular reprieve.
Presently, well over half the world’s wealth moves around internationally, taking advantage of business opportunities. National political boundaries, from a financial point of view, are becoming virtually transparent. Many Americans have come to the realization that the only way for them to protect their assets is to hold international assets. This has nothing to do with with tax evasion and everything to do with the creation and protection of wealth and assets.
In the United States, the legal system is often stacked in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant. The corporate veil is routinely ignored. This encourages the filing of spurious lawsuits.
For a mere filing fee, a contingent fee lawyer and his client risk very little to see how things turn out.
The possibility of being on the receiving end of a ruinus judgment can instantly result in the loss of a lifetime’s accumulation of hard work. Lawyers for plaintiffs only prosecute cases they believe will pay off. The largest growing business in America are contingent-fee lawyers. Look in the yellow pages of your phone book and you’ll see what I mean.
The Internet has facilitated an exponential rate of detailed information about your personal and/or your business accounts, property ownership, investment holdings, income, savings, and many other facts about you, your business, your associates, your buying/spending habits, and so forth.
Most trial lawyers will tell you, that forming U.S. based corporations for asset and wealth protection is not worth the certificate it’s written on. Judges will inform you that if any asset is within their jurisdiction anywhere in the U.S. they have the power to redistribute your wealth.
So, what’s the answer?
Become a smaller target and internationalize your assets.
Many international, offshore tax haven jurisdictions impose less governmental regulatory restrictions and reporting, less taxes on their assets and income, greater flexibility and disclosure requirements. Individuals, professionals, entrepreneurs, and their companies adopt an aggressive policy to safeguard and preserve their wealth and assets from predators and their very clever lawyers, while significantly reducing their costs of doing business.
An offshore corporation or other offshore legal entities can conduct any type of business in the United States that U.S. corporations can. You sacrifice nothing by by having a corporate veil with real teeth. An International Business Company (IBC) is an offshore corporate legal entity that does not have to comply with a U.S. based judgment.
Judgments are not enforceable in non-United States jurisdictions. U.S. contingent fee lawyers and their clients have a significant jurisdictional problem: only citizens of the tax haven jurisdiction can practice law. U.S. lawyers or their clients will have to hire a local law firm and pay up-front legal fees, post bonds, pay court costs, and pre-pay other expenses to pursue their claims. Generally speaking, foreign generated claims and judgments are frowned upon by the local authorities. “You are in your home country.”
The need for international diversification arises because of perceived shortcomings in the U.S. judicial, legislative, and political processes. Once the plaintiff sees the uphill battle involved, plus the enormous costs out of his/her own pocket, he/she may may either revaluate the merits of filing a lawsuit or settle for a fraction of the settlement he/she may have received in a U.S. Court. This fact alone, can become your catalyst for good, solid financial, estate planning and save thousands off your liability insurance premiums.
Did you know the United States government offers “Tax-Haven” status to NON-U.S. citizens.
Foreign investors consider the United States as their “offshore” “tax-free tax-haven jurisdiction” due to favorite treatment of their investments and tax-free status afforded to them. There’s NO Capital Gains Taxes on securities purchased in the United States and sold by foreign investors. According to US tax code section 871(a)(2), non-resident aliens (NRA) who invest in stocks and commodity securities in the USA are not subject to tax on any gain from such investments by the USA if the gains are not “effectively connected” with a US trade or business and if the NRA is not present in the US for more than 182 days in the taxable year. Gains on the disposition of debt securities such as bonds may be exempt from tax if there is no original issue discount on the bonds.
How Foreigners use the United States as their “International Offshore Tax Haven”:
NON-United States citizens may establish a United States Virgin Island Exempt Company, invest in Canadian Utility Bonds with a 12% interest coupon rate and pay NO United States Taxes on the interest and NO-taxes on it’s capital gains. All, perfectly legal.
This tax break is NOT available to a U.S. Person
Foreign investors receive preferential tax treatment by utilizing tax exemptions created by Internal Revenue Code (IRC) §881; §897(c)(3); §936; U.S. Treasury Regulations §864-(C)(1) and §864-(C)(2); further enhanced by the Canadian / Mexican / United States Tax Treaties.
For example, if a French citizen(or any foreign individual) purchased Canadian utility bonds through a U.S. Virgin Islands exempt company, his interest is not subject to Canadian or U.S. taxes, his capital gains is not subject to Canadian or U.S. taxes and he has no estate taxes; but but he has availability to use the U.S. court system?
The United States Virgin Islands, comprised of 68 islands and cays in the Caribbean Sea; 1,075 miles southeast of Miami and 40 miles east of Puerto Rico including St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St John are part of the United States and mirror the U.S. Tax Code except that it’s afforded special exemptions as a “possession.”
Special exemptions” under IRC §936 apply to The U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the American Samoa. These “possessions” of the United States have “mirror systems of U.S. taxation” by transforming the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), as amended, into a “local code” by substituting “its name” for the name of the “United States” when appropriate. Residents are United States Citizens, but for “tax purposes” they can become “offshore” with access to the U.S. Court Systems and all bi-lateral tax treaties.
60+ offshore international tax haven financial centers
International diversification aggressively safeguards and preserves your assets and wealth against risks associated with an increasingly litigious society; financial uncertainties created by your business environment; economic and social factors creating financial uncertainties; ever increasing demands from regulators, potential creditors, and other predators determined to exploit your wealth.
Major Offshore Financial Regions by Countries, Territories, and Jurisdictions:
Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos Islands.
Andorra, Campione, Cyprus, Dublin, Ireland, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Liechtenstein, London, U.K., Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Switzerland.
Cook Islands, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Labuan, Malaysia, Macao, SAR, Marianas, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Philippines, Singapore, Tahiti, Thailand, Vanuatu, Western Samoa.
Djibouti, Liberia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tangier.
Bahrain, Israel, Lebanon.
To quote the International Monetary Fund (IMF): “OFCs (Offshore Financial Centers) can be used for legitimate reasons, taking advantage of: (1) lower explicit taxation and consequentially increased after tax profit; (2) simpler prudential regulatory frameworks that reduce implicit taxation; (3) minimum formalities for incorporation; (4) the existence of adequate legal frameworks that safeguard the integrity of principal-agent relations; (5) the proximity to major economies, or to countries attracting capital inflows; (6) the reputation of specific OFCs, and the specialist services provided; (7) freedom from exchange controls; and (8) a means for safeguarding assets from the impact of litigation etc.
They can also be used for dubious purposes, such as tax evasion and money-laundering, by taking advantage of a higher potential for less transparent operating environments, including a higher level of anonymity, to escape the notice of the law enforcement agencies in the “home” country of the beneficial owner of the funds.”
“In truth, there are very legitimate financial reasons for an American citizen to `go offshore’. These include avoiding exposure to costly domestic litigation and excessive court damage judgments and jury awards, protection of assets, unreasonable SEC restrictions on foreign investments, the availability of more attractive and private offshore bank accounts, life insurance policies and annuities, avoidance of probate and reduction of estate taxes.” – source: Statement of Hon. Ron Paul of Texas, 2000 Congretional Record, page E1868-E1869. October 19, 2000. (//paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=446&Itemid=60). (//www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2000/cr101900money.htm)
That great economist, Wilhelm Roepke, once wrote: ‘It is very easy to awaken resentment against people who not only have money, but also the boldness to send that money abroad in order to protect it against all manner of domestic insecurity. It’s vital that people in their means of existence, that is, capital, still have the chance to move about internationally, and when absolutely necessary, to escape the arbitrariness of government policy by means of secret back doors.’ – source: Statement of Hon. Ron Paul of Texas, 2000 Congretional Record, page E1868-E1869. October 19, 2000. (//paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=446&Itemid=60) (//www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2000/cr101900money.htm)
Warning: Avoid legal and harmful, unpleasant results. There’s a myriad of reporting requirements by a “U.S. Person” some of which may have financial penalties, tax adverse consequences, and/or criminal sanctions. An incompetent advisor can cost you more than just money. When contemplating doing business internationally be certain that the advice you receive is from a competent professional familiar with such matters. Foreign professionals, foreign banks and foreign institutions cannot be relied upon.