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Using offshore accounts legally?
Old 01-18-2004, 02:42 AM   #1
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Using offshore accounts legally?

Anyone know the ins and outs of keeping your money in offshore accounts (i.e. a swiss bank account for example)?

If I was going to keep any money offshore, I'd want to do it legally...i.e. declare it to the IRS...but if you do that, does it still have benefits? My interest would be to not keep all my eggs in one basket (i.e. the USA).

Often times you see these accounts advertised for protection from lawsuits etc...I wonder, does this really hold true? i.e. if I put money in a legal swiss bank account, and I lose a big lawsuit, is that money really hidden/protected from creditors?

I have also wondered, if you fill out the proper IRS forms, (i.e. yes, I do have a foreign bank account), are you just asking for an audit?

If someone (other than the IRS) was trying to figure out how much money you had...is the account invisible?

Any recommendations on which countries are the best, and which banks w/in those countries?

Any information is appreciated.
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Re: Using offshore accounts legally?
Old 01-18-2004, 03:10 AM   #2
 
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Re: Using offshore accounts legally?

I looked into foreign accounts a couple of times. Have
forgotten all the details, but too much hassle and risk for the benefits was my conclusion.

John Galt
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Re: Using offshore accounts legally?
Old 01-18-2004, 10:38 AM   #3
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Re: Using offshore accounts legally?

I looked into it briefly once as well. As a friend said, if these things are for you, one of the army of people managing your life tells you so and puts the forms in front of you to sign...
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Re: Using offshore accounts legally?
Old 01-24-2004, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: Using offshore accounts legally?

Note: I haven't done this, but I have read quite a bit about it as part of research. So this advice is worth what you paid for it

Quote:
If I was going to keep any money offshore, I'd want to do it legally...i.e. declare it to the IRS...but if you do that, does it still have benefits? My interest would be to not keep all my eggs in one basket (i.e. the USA).
Sure it does. Canada has, IMHO, better privacy laws for banking. Or you may want to diversify your currency, though Everbank can do that for you too.

Quote:
Often times you see these accounts advertised for protection from lawsuits etc...I wonder, does this really hold true? i.e. if I put money in a legal swiss bank account, and I lose a big lawsuit, is that money really hidden/protected from creditors?
It depends on how it is set up. The judge can certainly ask that you withdraw the money if it is yours, and even hold you in comtempt of court and lock you up if you refuse. (This has happened to tax evaders who shelter their money oversees and claim it is isn't theirs.)

Unless you have a LOT of money, why not buy some umbrella insurance instead? It's cheaper than hiring lawyers and accountants to do all the work for you.

Quote:
I have also wondered, if you fill out the proper IRS forms, (i.e. yes, I do have a foreign bank account), are you just asking for an audit?
Not if you are honest.

Quote:
If someone (other than the IRS) was trying to figure out how much money you had...is the account invisible?
It's invisible as far as the US is concerned, but there are always ways of finding the information out (for instance, bribing an IRS employee to snoop on your tax records, or hiring a PI to go through your mail looking for bank statements, or whatever.)

What's your situation? Are you trying to protect your assets from a lawsuit? Have more privacy? Getting divorced?
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