Your Government Wants Your Money!

May 3rd 2013

The economic downturn we have experienced over the past few years have made sovereign states desperate for your money. We have seen a wide push by many developed nations, most notably U.S. and Germany, to pursue “offshore” wealth. The term “offshore” has a slightly different meaning in different countries. In the United States the term commonly refers to any jurisdiction that is not the United States. In Europe, the term “offshore” is most often applied to tax havens, but may also be applied to privacy havens as well.

The U.S. coerced UBS to hand-over information on its U.S. clients and Germany purchased banking information from a renegade banker. More recently the U.S. introduced a law commonly known as FATCA, which penalizes foreign financial institutions with U.S.-sourced investments for not reporting U.S. client to the U. S. Treasury.

The campaign of persecution engineered by the U.S. government against owners of foreign bank accounts has been brilliant in its marketing. Using those Americans who are tax cheats as their battle cry, the U.S. government would have us believe that anyone with a foreign bank account is a tax cheat. In reality, the tax cheats comprise a small percentage of all foreign bank account owners. It is likely that many Americans now believe that having ownership of a foreign bank account is criminal. If that was true it would mean that the U.S. exercised currency controls against its own citizens (think, China) – which it does not. It is not illegal for Americans to hold assets overseas, including bank accounts.

I have established many foreign bank accounts for my clients, a lot of them in “offshore” jurisdictions, from Switzerland, to the Caribbean, to Singapore. My clients are not tax cheats (to the best of my knowledge). They require foreign bank accounts for many various legitimate reasons: they have a business overseas, they value privacy, they want access to foreign currencies or alternative investments, or they are concerned with the political stability in their country of residence.

Private property rights are extremely important for a well-functioning democratic or republican society. This law firm will continue to assist its clients in maintaining their property rights, and will continue to devise structures that prioritize privacy and asset protection.

For more on this topic, take a look at this recent article from Bloomberg Businessweek: Billionaires Flee Havens as Trillions Pursued Offshore

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