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One of the questions we often receive from readers is “What country does not have a tax information exchange treaty (TIEA) with Country X?”
In other words, many people have been rather freaked out by recent developments such as Swiss and Panamanian banking information exchange agreements with the US and the UK. They are naturally looking for the best offshore banks in jurisdictions that have still not signed any information exchange treaties with major countries.
My standard response is that, while there are some of these countries (Andorra, for example, has not signed up to any information exchange with the US or the UK and doesn’t show any sign of doing so in the short term), jumping from bank to bank, jurisdiction to jurisdiction as rules change is becoming an ever more hopeless task. Yes, you can move once or twice – but the trend is definitely away from secrecy. Each time you change bank, you also put your privacy at risk. It’s much better to adapt your strategy and live within the system, while choosing a private, offshore bank that has its wits about it and values its international clientele.
The news is not all bad. There are still lots of ways to keep your affairs under the radar within the system. Most people I talk to these days, while they are committed to the idea of privacy as a fundamental principle, are much more concerned about asset protection and diversifying their investments. These are the themes we cover in The Q Wealth Report members’ area. Why go offshore? Tax evasion, as I’ve often stated, is not a good reason to go offshore today.
There’s one country I know of, however, that is really off the radar when it comes to offshore banking. You can open multi currency bank accounts here, and get full internet banking – including of course the chance to send multi-currency international bank wires online. US citizens are very welcome. And everything can be set up by mail, with no need to travel there.
This country, I should warn you, is in Africa. Some people lose interest right there, but I think that is a mistake. This is actually an important gold producing nation, so not surprisingly, it’s doing well at the moment. If you think gold will keep going up in dollar terms (I do) then this country will continue to prosper. The bank I recommend there, to consulting clients, is actually based in Europe and owns a gold refinery.
The country I’m talking about is Tanzania. Here are some of the reasons I like it as a private banking haven:
- The Chinese and Indians certainly have no hesitations about Africa and have been pouring billions in here. It’s a matter of following the smart money.
- Since 2000, production of gold on an industrial scale has increased, especially from the Geita (AngloGold/Ashanti) and Bulyanhulu (Barrick) mines. The future of Tanzania looks bright.
- The Tanzanian government recently abolished a number of taxes, including Capital Gains Tax. And passed a new mining act. There is absolutely no tax on foreign bank accounts held by non-resident individuals or companies.
- Double taxation treaties have been signed with Canada, Denmark, Finland, India, Italy, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, and Zambia. Tanzania is also in the process of negotiating treaties with other countries including Belgium, Burundi, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, Pakistan, Rwanda.
- The Tanzanian Central Bank was heavily criticized for excessively restrictive precautionary banking regulations during the last decade. The result is that the Tanzanian banking sector is strong and healthy today.
A typical structure I might recommend to consulting clients, depending on their circumstances of course, would be a Nevis LLC with a bank account in Tanzania. As I said, that can easily be set up within a few weeks, with no need to leave home. The bank account can also be used as a platform for buying and selling stocks and investments internationally, though it should not be compared to an international online brokerage account.
More information on this and many other private banking and offshore wealth protection matters can be found in the Members Area here at Q Wealth Report. If you haven’t yet signed up, click here to see a list of the membership benefits.