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Offshore Planning: Yes, Tax Evasion: No

January 15, 2009
Alan Stang
1/15/2009

The word from Washington, District of Criminals, is that Usurper-Elect Also Known As intends to squelch offshore investment by nervous Americans. The Also Known As Administration will fail in this attempt like all its predecessors, because if offshore is made illegal for you, it becomes equally illegal for royal families like the Kennedys, and big banks and companies for which going offshore is routine.

So, the District periodically scares people about it, citing lurid examples of people who do things illegal, trying to instill the belief that going offshore is illegal like tax evasion. Of course, tax evasion is illegal; it is a serious crime, a major felony, refusing to pay a tax you owe. If you really do owe the federal government a tax, I strongly urge you to pay it. Often, this is a matter of conscience, because, as our friends in I.R.S. say, only you know whether or not you have done something that is taxable. Going offshore to evade payment of a tax is illegal.

But going offshore without evasion, after the income tax is paid, is perfectly legal, and people go offshore for many legitimate reasons besides income tax. Protection from suit-happy creditors and ex-spouses is one. Privacy is another. Preservation of value in a different currency unit is a third. Inheritance is a fourth.

For the rest of the story …..

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