"When choosing an international bank, you have an important fundamental distinction to consider," explained attorney Chris Rusch in his "International Banking Tricks And Traps" presentation for the group assembled for our Emergency Offshore Summit in Panama City this morning.
"Does the bank have offices in the United States...or not?
"It's a trade-off. A U.S. office typically means faster response time and more convenient service. On the other hand, it also means that the IRS could levy the account and that civil creditors could sue the bank or attach your account.
"By choosing an international bank without an office Stateside, you're allowing for maximum privacy and security. At the same time, an international bank without any U.S. presence won't provide you with U.S.-compliant reporting, meaning your tax filings will be a little more complex.
"The other key consideration when choosing an international banking jurisdiction is your own agenda. What do you want the bank account for? Will it serve as an operating account (in a country where you have a rental investment property, for example, and therefore need a way to pay local bills)? Or are you looking for a bank that will manage an investment account for you? These are very different objectives, and a bank that would be a good choice in one case could make no sense whatsoever in the other."
Once you've decided you want to put your money with a bank that has no offices in the United States and that will provide investment management services (for example), how, then, do you choose a jurisdiction?
In his presentation for our group this morning, Chris compared and contrasted key jurisdictions from Andorra to Jersey, from Hong Kong to Switzerland, from Belize to Nevis, and from Panama to the Cook Islands, making specific bank recommendations in each case.
Then he reminded our group of a few fundamentals:
First, never miss an IRS filing deadline...
Always declare the beneficial owner of an account on the bank form...
Be honest with your bank regarding the purposes of your account and the nature of your business...
Consider opening several smaller accounts with different banks, to further your diversification...
P.S. We recorded Chris' offshore banking presentation in full, so, if you weren't able to be in the room with us today to hear Chris' bank recommendations live, don't worry. You can access the details as part of our Emergency Offshore Summit Self-Preservation Kit, which will include the recordings of every presentation throughout the event, along with speaker materials and PowerPoint presentations.
This bundle of resources will be available as soon as possible following the event. However, you can pre-order the complete kit now, in advance of publication, and save more than 50% off the cost.
Full details here.
The Little Data Book on Climate Change is based on World Development Indicators 2011, the World Bank’s premier data publication. It provides a broad overview of climate change data and includes a diverse set of indicators selected from both the global economic and scientific communities. These indicators reflect recognition of the intrinsic relationship between climate change and development, and attempt to synthesize important aspects of current and projected climate conditions, exposure to climate impacts, resilience, greenhouse gas emissions, and the state of efforts to take action. This handy pocket guide is one of seven titles in the World Bank's Little Data Book series, which provides data 'snapshots' of key global development issues.
It provides country data for 218 World Bank member countries for more than 50 indicators in a single page. These tables are supplemented by aggregate data for regional and income groupings.