information was deemed accurate when written but the you the reader is always advised to do your own homework. Life situations change very quickly. If you have specific questions- Write EW. Hard as we try at EW to keep you up to date with current and correct information, things can change very rapidly in the Post 911 world we live in.
NEITHER IMMORAL NOR UNPATRIOTIC
Unless one is either stupidly naive or has his head up his "backdoor orifice" the question of who wants to protect his assets and reduce his taxes is rather a dumb question? Who doesn't want to keep more of what's his? But believe it or not EW gets the feedback all the time that people who don't pay their "share" are being selfish and don't look out for the good of country, general masses and the government's need for money to take care of running the country. What poppycock! If your response to the question is in this line, you've probably should quit reading now and just get your checkbook out and donate more to the coffers of your IRS, Revenue Canada or other governmental taxing authority. For those of you that believe that it is man's God-given right to keep what he earns through the sweat of his brow, and the most a State can ask for it's limited "support purposes" is 10 percent (all taxes, hidden and unhidden), then read on.
THE MORAL QUESTION - Using international methods and strategies is one great way to maximize the amount of your earnings you can keep in your pocket. It is true that the use of international financial strategies requires considerable initiative, alertness, determination, and dedication. Not that it doesn't pay but it does take up time that can be used for other productive money making purposes. It's pretty much a fact to say that the net gain from each hour dedicated to protecting your wealth is almost certain to be higher than the net gain from an hour of productive employment. Thanks to "progressive" taxation, this goes double for someone in a relatively high tax bracket. There is also a psychological dimension that MUST not be neglected. Most people derive a "clean" feeling from making a living through their work, but feel that there is something "dirty" about "scheming" to reduce their taxes.
Heavy taxes, whether used to provide luxury for a ruling elite or to support welfare schemes, always have the effect of penalizing individual initiative and productivity, reducing investment capital and thus the resources required for economic growth, reducing the standard of living, and forcing individuals to hide things, both activities and incomes, from the government and from one another. Heavy taxation is, therefore, a danger to the future of the high-tax countries.
To internationalize your assets assumes at the outset that you have assets that are available for investment. It also assumes that a viable method of doing so exists in the contemporary scheme of world business; and ideally, a plan exists that includes short-and long-range investment goals AND the question of the morality of tax avoidance is considered an absolute for on the other side of the table the tax laws and compliance are considered absolute in the tax authorities' mind. It's becoming very quickly an axiom that as progressive tax rates bring taxes higher and higher each year in highly industrialized and populated nations, the attitudes of taxpayers is undergoing a gradual, but definitive change on the issue of the morality of tax laws.
Today, even the individual worker for which the tax system is supposedly designed, can see that a tax system in which higher income brackets produce progressively higher tax rates is paralyzing individual initiative and productivity. In today's government attitude of " tax them to they bleed" mentality investors feel not only duty-bound but morally obligated to use the legal tax avoidance measures available to them. Whether the tax loss to the nation is through using domestic tax shelter strategies, or through the use of an international financial center, the avoidance principle is exactly the same. In today's reality, legal tax avoidance by an investor may not be the road to wealth, but simply a means of economic survival for himself and his family.
The "losers", in this business of tax avoidance are presumed to be the heavily industrialized, heavily populated, and heavily taxed countries of the world Most nations of western Europe and two nations in particular personify this " loser's" description, the United States and Great Britain. Yet the attitudes of these governments toward tax avoidance is ambivalent to say the least.
There are, of course, economic reasons to justify these tax rulings (a reversal of the ruling on interest paid on bank deposits would remove billions of dollars from US banks.) This being the case, we can say that there is no external threat to tax avoidance from free world nations. The United States and Great Britain are both involved in the business of providing a haven for foreign investors to protect their assets BUT LET THEIR OWN CITIZENS TRY TO USE INTERNATIONAL MEANS OF ASSET PROTECTION AND ARE TREATED AS MORAL LEPERS AT BEST or criminals in the extreme.
SCOFF-LAWS - Speaking of "criminals" let's look at Scoff-laws. Scoff laws by definition are people who scoff at, or flout, the law. They have no compunction about violating those petty laws, rules or regulations that they feel are unreasonable, unrealistic, or infringe their personal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
As the government (any government) writes more and more laws regulating the personal activities of the citizenry (especially if those laws infringe the citizen's earning capacity), more and more of the citizens will violate those laws without compunction, guilt or remorse. - As an example: How many people do you know who have driven faster than 55 miles-per-hour on a US federally funded highway? (Law just now changed in most states of the USA)
These people know that a government that writes the zillion laws on tax compliance can't possibly expect to catch the vast majority of people who violate them. Besides, even if they get caught, unless they are a major offender, the penalties aren't that severe or the power-that-be may simply choose to overlook the offense. As in our example above, most police officers simply overlook people driving faster than 55 m.p.h. in the USA, but do stop those people driving recklessly at any speed.
Because of the multitude of federal, state, county, city and township tax laws in the USA and many other countries, the considerable proportion of the people have become tax scoff-laws. It is physically impossible for any one person to know (or understand) all of the various and many tax laws, rules and regulations of most first world jurisdictions and the people of each nation all know that it is impossible to be in 100% compliance with all of the hundreds of thousands of pages of tax laws and it is just as impossible, for the government at its many levels to know who is, or who isn't, paying which taxes under which laws, rules and regulations. So, more and more people today are just reporting their OBVIOUS earnings and paying the taxes they absolutely have to, and feel no remorse if they don't report some of the income they know they should. If they do get caught, the penalties aren't that severe (usually just a fine) and the odds are they won't be caught.
Although EW would never consider violating or recommending that anyone "cheat" the IRS or other tax authority let's just take a quick minute to see how the modern-day tax scoff-law uses Offshore Bank Accounts to cheat the IRS tax collectors, as reported in the fore-mentioned article.
A doctor received a payment from a patient and deposited the check in his Offshore Bank Account. Since the deposit doesn't appear in his business records, the chances are it would never be found, even if the doctor is audited.
One couple sold a piece of art work and had the buyer send the payment direct to their Offshore Bank Account. Later, the couple used that money to enjoy a vacation outside the US - Mr. Hirshberger with the IRS said, "There's no way we would ever discover that."
Another example told of a bank customer who got his "unscrupulous" banker to transfer large amounts of cash to an Offshore Bank Account without reporting the transaction to the IRS Then, the customer borrowed the money back from the offshore bank. Since loan proceeds are not taxable. No taxes paid.
But, these examples are only the tip of the iceberg. It is no longer just the wealthy with art works to sell or the professionals and businessmen with extra income to hide. There are hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions) of blue collar and middle management white collar workers who now are tax scoff-laws and keep the wealth of their toil.
A SOLICITATION OR AN HONEST APPEAL TO HELP THOSE IN NEED? -
For a mere US $300 dollars EW will deliver to you all ready to use an account complete with deposit book, code word and instructions.
It's that easy. Every soul on the planet Earth should have a place to hide a stash that nobody even the almighty IRS God can find or for that matter lesser Gods like ex-spouses, asset reducing lawyers, creditors, etc. Just drop EW a note with a "a Sparbuch please" and a check, cash, money order or Visa Card details to EW, Box 1341, Raffles City, Singapore 9117 and we'll send you the Sparbuch international registered airmail within 48 hours of receipt of the order.
OFFSHORE TAX SHELTERS, OFFSHORE BANKING AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ASSET PROTECTION STRATEGIES - In general, files and information maintained outside the country you live in aren't part of, nor subject to, the scrutiny of the government agencies of your country of residence. Most governments under normal circumstances only gain knowledge about your Offshore activities if YOU tell them about it -or - if you are involved in some form of criminal activity in your home country and their investigation in this country reveals to them evidence of your Offshore activities. Today the red-herrings for these type of investigations fall under the headings of drug dealing and money laundering.
It's the prying eyes of the Government, your nosy neighbors, business competitors, ex-spouses, and other snoopy people, who may well attempt to keep track of your financial activities for their own purposes. With or without the use of a private detective agency, it is quite easy for almost anyone to gain access to your most personal records if they are kept in the country you eat, sleep, reside and make love in. However, records and files on your activities outside the your "home" country are next to impossible for these snoops to get their hands or eyes on. Banking offshore and maintaining your financial records and files outside the USA (or your home country) allows you the maximum personal and financial privacy available.
OFFSHORE TAX SHELTERS - As you may be well aware, in the US and most other countries in the free world, there are a multitude of totally legitimate, and legal, "tax shelter" opportunities available. These help those both "legit" and those in the scoff-law category get about the business of protecting their ASS and ASSETS internationally. Since the various IRS, Treasury, and Securities Regulations governing "tax shelter" opportunities are constantly changing EW will not attempt to give you specific advice regarding such opportunities. But, by realizing that legitimate and legal "tax shelters" exist both in the US and in other countries, you can better understand that you can legally and legitimately shelter your income from taxes; either in your home country or through a tax shelter opportunity in another country. ONE OF THE BEST SHELTERS AVAILABLE IS THE SWISS ANNUITY ACCOUNT.
SWISS ANNUITIES - Saving for a secure retirement has never been more difficult. US taxes severely penalize savings, and efforts to cut taxes on savings are routinely derided by economically ignorant politicians as "giveaways" to the rich.
And if you still manage to put money aside, despite punitive taxes, where do you invest it? Banking systems are tottering in both the United States and Japan. Nor can insurance companies necessarily be trusted any more - as anyone who bought annuities from California's First Executive Life can bitterly attest.
And even if you manage to save and invest successfully, a third barrier looms between you and secure retirement - a lawsuit could easily wipe out everything you own. In the United States, especially, anyone who looks like he might have money is at risk of being victimized by a frivolous or vengeful lawsuit - with potentially devastating consequences.
If all this makes a secure retirement sound like an impossible dream, take heart. There is a way that you can save on your taxes and protect your hard-earned assets against seizure by creditors. Not only can you avoid the kinds of risks that brought down the customers of First Executive Life, but you can protect against the ravages of inflation as well.
Best of all, it's a totally private form of investment. Absolutely nobody need know about it - not the government, your nosey mother-in-law, or even the hostile lawyer you may someday have the misfortune to confront.
This sort of financial conservatism is also your guarantee against the kind of catastrophe that ruined customers and policy holders of US insurance companies that went belly up in the 1990s. In the 130-year history of the Swiss insurance industry, not one company has ever closed its doors or failed to meet its obligations.
Of course, one way to avoid being sued in the first place is to avoid looking like an attractive target. Remember, lawyers typically take these cases on a contingency basis. So you have to look like your pockets are deep enough to make it worth their while. If you don't look like you have a lot of money, you have virtually nothing to worry about. No fee-hungry lawyer will waste his time trying to squeeze blood from a stone.
A Swiss annuity, however, may be one of the world's few remaining totally private investments. Nether the fact that you own an annuity nor the earnings gained from it will be reported by Swiss insurance companies to the US government or any foreign authority.
US citizens are required to report their ownership of foreign financial accounts - such as bank and brokerage accounts - to the Internal Revenue Service if the sum of the accounts totals $ 10,000 or more in any calendar year. Swiss annuities, however, are legally exempt from this reporting requirement, because they are not a bank or brokerage account. So unless you spill the beans yourself, no one need ever know how much you may have quietly tucked away in your Swiss annuity.
A single-premium Swiss annuity combines the privacy of Swiss banking with the safety of an annuity plus another advantage is that there are no upfront fees. So all the money you put in goes to work right away. Furthermore, you can withdraw your funds at any time. (You are, however, subject to a withdrawal fee of SFr5OO if you cash out before the end of the first year.)
Swiss annuities are one of the best investment vehicles you can find if you value safety and stable returns on your capital. EW doesn't give many recommendations but for getting a Swiss annuity the firm of JML has a rock-solid reputation. For more information just drop them a fax or phone call:
Tell him Expat World sent you!
A brief view of JML: JML Swiss Investment Counselors is an independent group of financial advisors. Since 1974 they have specialized in Swiss franc insurance, gold and selected Swiss-bank managed investments for overseas and European clients. The group serves over 20,000 clients worldwide with investments through JML of more than 2 billion Swiss francs. Their services are free of charge to you because they are paid by the renowned companies with which you invest your money. The commissions and fees of these institutions are standard, and all transactions are subject to strict regulation by the Swiss authorities.
All of their staff are fluent in English, and understand the special concerns of the international investor. They know about all the many little details that are critical to you as a non- Swiss investor, and have answers to your tax questions and other legalities.