A friend is trying to figure out where to move overseas with his family. He’s a freelance consultant, so all he needs to be in business is an Internet connection. In other words, he could go almost anywhere, which is making it difficult for him to decide what to do.
He started by narrowing his choices based on his wife’s personal preferences and the fact that they have a child in need of schooling. Still, he had plenty of options.
His next decision factor became taxes. Where could he move to minimize his overall tax bite? …Continue Reading
Some recent reader emails have me scratching my head. Some readers rail against me for writing about ways both to save taxes and to protect assets by moving them offshore. These readers seem fully to believe that these activities are illegal. The only thing I can think is that they are mis-merging ideas.
Hiding assets offshore to avoid taxes, yes, that’s illegal. Do that, and, in the current climate, with the IRS on a mission to uncover every U.S. asset held offshore it can, you’re going to get caught. The cost of getting caught is going to be multiples of whatever you might temporarily save in taxes.
For the record, I’ve never recommended moving assets offshore to hide them. I recommend (always have… always will) disclosing everything you’re meant to disclose to whatever government or tax authority it’s meant to be disclosed. Hiding assets does not work.
However, hiding assets is not the same thing as moving assets. Hiding assets offshore is illegal. Moving assets offshore is not. Don’t believe anyone (any media, any accountant, any attorney) who tries to tell you that moving assets to another country (by placing them in a bank account there, for example, or in a foreign trust) is illegal or a tax dodge. It’s not. …Continue Reading