Characteristics of an offshore bank account

One of the initial questions that many people ask themselves when they hear the term “offshore” is what to understand by it? These are accounts that are opened in banks located in countries or territories that apply little or no taxes to individuals and companies. They are usually small or island countries, whose tax regime attracts clients from more developed nations; In addition, in these offshore jurisdictions there is a total respect for bank secrecy. 

The jurisdictions most commonly used and suggested by experts to form an offshore company or open a bank account are Panama, Nevis, Belize, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Hong Kong, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, St. Vincent and Liberia. Offshore jurisdictions: 

– Low or zero taxes for people and non-resident companies. – Full compliance of banking and commercial secrecy established by law. In most jurisdictions it is punishable by imprisonment or high fines are applied if there is any breach of bank secrecy. – Sophisticated financial and commercial legislation, since few requirements are needed for the formation of an offshore company and the opening of bank accounts. – There is no exchange control and there is great freedom in the movement of capital. – Scarce banking regulation. – A very flexible legal system. – In these jurisdictions, there is great political and economic stability, in the interest of all parties to maintain tranquility and thus avoid problems that would lead to a considerable flight of capital. – These jurisdictions do not usually sign tax information exchange treaties with countries where high taxes are applied. – They have excellent telecommunications networks. – The staff of online banking is able to speak several languages, such as English, French, German, Spanish, Russian and Chinese. They open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Advantages of opening an offshore bank account and conducting operations abroad:

a) They enable more international business activities and expand the diversification of investments. In many occasions it is more profitable to make investments in the country where you do not reside, since there, in general, you pay high taxes. b) Tax savings. Therefore, it is advisable to invest with your company from abroad, because if you did it with the same company, in the country of residence, then the tax burden would increase. c) Protection of assets and search for security and privacy. An offshore company helps resolve litigation for divorces, lawsuits, civil liability, jail threat. If you had your assets associated with that offshore company, no researcher could find them and thus minimize potential problems. What do you have to take into account to choose the jurisdiction where to incorporate your offshore company and then the most appropriate one for your offshore bank account? – Commercial activities that will be developed abroad: commercial activities (purchase and sale), tax savings, if funds are going to be moved or not, charges for intellectual property rights, inheritances, life insurance, stock market investment, purchase of real estate, etc. – The patrimony that is possessed can depend a lot at the time of selecting the jurisdiction. 

The fundamental idea sought by any client who decides to conduct offshore operations is to pay fewer taxes, in an environment of total privacy. Therefore, the first thing is to find a jurisdiction where the highest banking secrecy prevails, there is freedom of movement, without change control, in addition to the existence of reliable banking services, excellent telecommunications networks and low banking costs and the establishment of offshore companies. 

It is advisable to always consult with experts at before deciding the most appropriate jurisdiction to open an offshore bank account. 

Examples of specialized jurisdictions: – Traditional banking centers: Switzerland, Luxembourg, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Panama, Hong Kong. – Greater banking secrecy: Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and St. Vincent. The least safe are the Bahamas and Singapore. – Deposit of fortunes: Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco and Channel Islands. – Interposed companies: Channel Islands, Gibraltar, British Virgin Islands. – Foundations: Panama, Austria, and Luxembourg. – Investment funds: Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands.

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