Offshore banking can lead to compliance issues, but it is legal when it is done right. Channeling money through these financial havens provides businesses and wealthy individuals with such financial benefits as lower tax obligations, higher interest and fewer financial regulations. Also known as offshore financial centers, these countries often provide this business-friendly setting to pump money into their economies. A side benefit for account holders is that these countries can be scenic locations in the Caribbean and elsewhere, making for a pleasant working vacation.
The account holder should do their research before moving money into these countries – some are blacklisted for their tax fraud tolerance and lack of global tax governance. But one of the following countries may be a good fit for a business or individual looking to move their money to an offshore account. It is important to note that the IRS still expects citizens to pay taxes on money earned abroad, in offshore accounts or while living abroad.
- Cayman Islands: This country has long had a strong reputation as a stable tax haven where there are no taxes on capital gains, corporations, property, payroll, or income. It has extensive services that can serve a wide range of clients and businesses.
- Singapore: It is a long jet ride, but the wealthy often cite this country. There are strict regulations, which protect the wealth, and the banks are extremely tech-savvy.
- Switzerland: This classic is famous for its strict privacy laws dating back over 300 years. The notable exception is if there is a criminal act involved. The country requires annual reporting to tax authorities. There are no taxes on inheritance, dividends or interest.
- Nevis: This little-known country is ideal for moving companies like LLCs offshore. Financial standards are high for asset protection, but there are flexible business structures and few regulations.
- Belize: The main benefit here is the banks’ positive interest rates with little to no inflation. International accounts are not locally taxed and there are no exchange restrictions.
Working with professionals is usually best
International banking can be a smart financial decision, but it can be complicated. It is so complicated that sometimes the IRS flags taxpayers who are compliant or think they are thanks to a financial advisor’s help. Tax law attorneys can often step in and help protect the client’s interests when there is a dispute over tax obligation.