Unfortunately, when it comes to offshore banking and international asset protection, people make a lot of mistakes. Blindly trusting advisers is one of the more serious.
We’ve long warned here of two things:
1. Don’t do business with offshore banks that have a presence in your home country. Especially not ones who send in employees to participate in illegal tax evasion schemes. Heeding this advised would have saved 50,000 Americans a lot of headache and loss of sleep in the recent IRS and Justice Department case against leading Swiss bank UBS.
2. Don’t assume that because you are not American, you are safe. This rule is highlighted by the latest news from Ottawa…
UBS, Switzerland’s biggest private bank and one with substantial operations worldwide, agreed in August to reveal the names of nerarly five thousand of its wealthiest US clients under intense pressure. Many people believed that the best offshore banks were the biggest – or simply went for the convenience factor given the Swiss bank’s large North American operations. They are learning to their cost, however, that ‘small is beautiful’ as strong and conservative local banks in Switzerland, such as the Swiss Cantonal Banks we have written about in Q Wealth Report, have been left unmolested and have maintained respectable balance sheets.
But now Revenue Canada wants the same information, according to Reuters.
A spokesman for Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently confirmed that there is talk of tougher laws to compel offshore banks to cooperate with Revenue Canada.
As the Reuters article states:
Offshore private banking involves managing the wealth of rich clients from a foreign location. However, some clients have exploited the system to avoid paying taxes, especially if transactions are carried out in traditional banking secrecy strongholds such as Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Fortunately Canadians (like Brits, Ausies, Kiwis and others) have the huge advantage over Americans, that they can simply opt out of their domestic tax systems by leaving their respective home countries. More and more Canadians are choosing to do just that – often becoming ‘snowbirds’ commuting to winter homes in warmer climes and living tax-free offshore. But to do that, reliable information and research is necessary. (The USA is the only country in the world that tries to tax its non-resident citizens.)
These topics are frequently covered in Q Wealth Report, your leading one stop shop for information on offshore asset protection and international banking. If you’re a Canadian with offshore assets, regard this latest piece of news as a warning call. It’s time to review the situation and look into your options. Here at Q Wealth we offer impartial advice, a wealth of articles and free reports, and a unique rolodex of reliable expert contacts in the offshore world.
If you’re not Canadian, will the next news of an offshore crackdown be from your government?