EFAM | Escape From America Magazine

Move Your Money Out of the Country…and Soon

Move Your Money Offshore

Move Your Money Offshore

Things are getting uncomfortable for individuals and corporations looking to deposit their money in tax havens around the world. Just recently, Congress introduced the so-called “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act,” which is designed to do away with the privacy afforded by doing business or investing outside the U.S. and to eliminate or reduce tax benefits available offshore. Simon Black and Fitzroy McLean, ex-CIA operatives, investment pros, and globe-trotting editors of Casey Research’s Without Borders, weigh in with their no-holds-barred opinion on the topic…


We are patriots. We have proudly served in our country’s military, have extended a helping hand to its public sector, and have plowed our entrepreneurial enterprise into its once fertile soil. We love America, but these days, America does not love us back. It takes without giving and squelches free enterprise. These days, America is no longer the land of the free, especially when it comes to the market.

Just look at the headlines, seemingly ripped from the pages of Atlas Shrugged: Unconscionably large bank bailouts. Punishing regulations and tax requirements. An arctic business climate. Government money bombs. Riots and protests. Slowing trade. Protectionist rhetoric. Demonized corporate executives. Even pirates hijacking cargo ships. One can guess what will happen next.

We predict the next several years will usher in larger, more obtrusive governments, resulting in a decline of personal liberty and financial privacy. The world will become increasingly polarized between two groups: those who consider government intervention a great idea, and the rest of us who happen to be sane.

As such, you can bet your last falling dollar on some absolute certainties: bank nationalization is a given, at least de facto if not de jure; taxes are going up on those of us with any money left; the Fed’s money blitzkriegs will spark a blaze of inflation; and financial privacy will be a thing of the past in the United States.

The obvious and necessary solution is to position one’s finances outside of the United States, and to do so now, while the narrow and finite window of opportunity is still open.

To be clear, evading (or even avoiding) taxes at this point is not a wise move, given the size and scope of the ever-growing IRS. But there are significant advantages to expatriating your capital now:

For starters, you will actually have control of your own money. Yes, in certain instances you’ll be obliged to tell the IRS exactly where it is and what you’re doing with it, but no government agency will have the authority to reach into your overseas pocket and freeze or expropriate (read: steal) on a whim just so Team Obama can give it away to pay for someone else’s McMansion.  Plus, when exchange controls are implemented and Americans are forbidden from wiring money overseas, your capital will already be secured in another jurisdiction, where you will be free to do what you want with it.

Secondly, you will no longer have to assume the risk of insolvent banks or go through the hassle of petitioning the government to get your FDIC insurance bailout. Many overseas banks are far better capitalized than those in the United States, and some of them are in jurisdictions with constitutionally protected banking privacy.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, moving money overseas gives you a last chance at diversifying out of the dollar, which, in a very short period of time, will barely be worth the paper on which it’s printed.

Bank and Brokerage Accounts

Opening a foreign bank or brokerage account is easier said than done; the United States government severely restricts where and under what terms you can open a bank account, invest in a fund, or engage in other economic activities that facilitate the protection of and access to your assets. As the signatory on an overseas account, you are required by law to inform the federal government on Treasury form TDF 90.22 by the end of June each year. Ostensibly, this has been done in the name of fighting money laundering, but it has the effect of severely restricting your freedom of financial movement.

Many foreign banks simply won’t work with you… don’t worry, it’s nothing personal. Uncle Sam has been beating them down since the Reagan years, and between Qualified Intermediary rules, tax treaties, and the USA PATRIOT Act, Sammy gives himself a lot of regulation to bury the opposition with.

There are some jurisdictions that are still excellent banking centers; Switzerland may have rolled over, but Panama, Uruguay, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates have thus far ignored the call for “greater transparency” (read: government access to private finance).
Some individual banks, like Credicorp and Global Bank in Panama, or Banco Itau in Uruguay will not work with U.S. citizens anymore, but there is still opportunity with the hundreds of remaining banks in these jurisdictions.

Similarly, opening a foreign brokerage account is a shrewd move, not only to move your money overseas but also to have greater access to financial markets. Remember when world markets tanked on Martin Luther King Day 2008? If you were a U.S.-based investor and wanted to sell, sell, sell, you had to wait a full 24 hours until the markets opened after the holiday on Tuesday morning. If you had been invested with global depository shares through a foreign brokerage, you could have saved yourself several points and gotten out in time.
We would suggest looking at Saxo Bank in Denmark.

Bullion Storage

If you have gold, it would be highly beneficial to get it out of the U.S. – stat. If you do keep it in the U.S., your only truly reliable and private option is to store it yourself in a safe that you bury in your backyard.  Otherwise, move it out of the U.S. now before Team Obama pulls an FDR and takes your gold from you.

At the moment, gold is not considered a monetary instrument by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, so there is no legal requirement to declare your bullion upon leaving the United States. Some countries, like Taiwan and Uruguay, require you to declare gold in excess of a certain value to customs officials upon entry.

We recommend Panama, Austria, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates as locations to store bullion; one particular favorite is a location called Das Safe (www.dassafe.com) in Vienna where anonymous safes start at 400 euro/year.

Real Estate

It might sound counterintuitive after the subprime debacle, but real estate is a sound option for moving money outside of the United States; there are zero reporting requirements. It’s your business where you own property, and (so far) no one else’s. You can purchase property in a private way by setting up a corporate structure to hold the assets so that they’re not in your name (Panama is an excellent jurisdiction to set this up), and although there are many places with depressed real estate markets, there are also many with good growth potential: in Latin America, we would recommend Panama, Colombia, Uruguay, and Chile. In Europe: Slovakia, Albania, and Poland. In the rest of the world: Lebanon, Hainan Island (China), the Philippines, Cambodia, and New Zealand.

Time is of the essence – start looking for your safe haven now.

casey_research

About The Author

Without Borders is Casey Research’s monthlynewsletter dedicated to finding the best global investment opportunities and the most beautiful places to live and do business.

If you are interested in specific strategies for moving money overseas and diversifying out of the dollar –whether it’s overseas bank accounts, real estate purchases, commodity currencies, or offshore brokerages — Fitzroy and Simon tell you the safest and most robust places to park your dollars while they’re still strong and widely accepted… places that will keep your personal economy strong even as the dollar and the U.S. economy suffer. They investigate outstanding investment opportunities, companies, and stocks you won’t hear about on CNBC as well as lucrative overseas deals that they themselves scope out and test.

If you want to think, invest, and live outside the box, test Without Borders now risk-free – via our 3-month trial subscription with 100% money-back guarantee. Click here to learn more.

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28 Comments

  1. Anon Cow April 18, 2009 at 7:47 am

    It’s astonishing how much of this rhetoric has appeared since Obama got elected and yet these same ‘patriots’ were silent during the eight Bush years when all sorts of civil liberties abuses were occurring. Sir, thou doth protest too much.

    • Lala72 April 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm

      Obviously they haven’t been silent for eight years, fool. If they had, they wouldn’t have the monthly newsletter or the track record they boast.

      Duh?

      Then again, it must be difficult to see the logic when you get teary eyed every time you hear someone rip the Messiah, huh?

      Why are you even on this site, Anon Cow?

  2. akak April 18, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    To “Anon” above, most of this “rhetoric” has been appearing lately not because of Obama’s inauguration, but because the incredibly outrageous financial bailouts and backroom deals of the last six or eight months have revealed to more and more people that we do not in fact live in a republic any longer, but in a corrupt and criminal oligarchy controlled by a ruthless and shamelessly psychopathic financial elite, who will stop at nothing to impoverish the average citizen and indeed the whole world in their sick and perverted, never-ending quest to wring the last vestiges of power and wealth from the rest of us.

  3. jcabdo April 19, 2009 at 4:43 am

    I have been an expat for 25 years and most of the “scary ” things you say are going to happen in the US are already standard procedure, and have been for a while, in other countries. How is your bank account going to survive if your bank doesn’t and there is no FDIC? Do you want even more restrictions on moving money out of another country? Are you sure the banks have secrecy laws, and if so do they apply to foreigners? It is very important for someone thinking of moving money overseas to know the laws in the country they are moving it too. I have learned to deal with the system where I live and while I think some things are better than in the American system, others are worse. Caveat emptor.

  4. Bukko in Australia April 19, 2009 at 5:59 am

    I probably sounded as paranoid to everyone in the United States when I was talking about bailing on the U.S. in 2005 as these “advisors” sound to me now. I was convinced that the realPresident Cheney and the rest of the Bush Crime Family would start a nuclear war and also destroy the American economy. Hey — I was half right! Better than all wrong — like some writers I just read.

    I’d like to see links to where these spook prognosticators wrote columns during the Bush Regime about how “conservatives” were going to blow up the economy. Maybe I’m wrong in suspecting that they’re only worried now that a black Democrat is in power.

    Some of the dire things these smart fellers are predicting might come to pass — if the Republicans ever get back into power. As lickspittle as the Democrats are, they’re too wimpy to do anything other than bail out big bankers they way Timmer Geithner has been doing. But if the fascists of the Right return, yeah, I can see that happening.

    What the columnist doesn’t mention is that setting up accounts in other countries is not a slam dunk. I’ve got bank accounts on three continents, and you should know there are lots of hoops to jump through. You have a tax ID number in your target country? The tax authorities there are going to want to take their cut, you know. Do you have an address for your bank correspondence? Can you prove your money is legit? That’s only a hint of the hassle in store.

    I hope that any right-wingers worried about Obama DO put their money in a dodgy place like Uruguay or Panama. That’s because I don’t like right-wingers. I’d laugh my arse off when I heard about them getting burned by rip-offs common to corrupt nations like that. Hey boys — what’s your opinion of Somalia? An investor’s paradise for people worried about Obamunists — NO government regulations, and you can protect your assets with armoured vehicles and heavy machine guns if you want! Yeahhhhh — that’s where to escape from America to if you’re on the Right…

    • Lala72 April 20, 2009 at 2:14 am

      Bukko, have you looked into therapy yet??? There’s an awful lot of venom stored up in you. Tried yoga or classical music? Perhaps some Lithium?

      Your left isn’t any better than their right. That’s a fact. Both sides are an utter mess.

      That’s why the smart ones vote Libertarian; we give you gay marriage, decriminalized marijuana, pro-choice rights WITHOUT an income tax. (You see, the truth is that it costs NOTHING to socially liberated!)

      And if you think banks in Panama are unstable and high risk, you really don’t get out much, sport. I would classify an Australian bank as more “dodgy” than a Panamanian bank.

  5. james April 19, 2009 at 6:47 am

    obama is right to seek all ways to clean up a corrupt opaque obstructive system in place for many years to fleece majority and bankroll well connected powerful elite.he is got to look for possible opportunities for growth and job creation hence need to look at areas of foreign relations that hinder rather open growth like strangulation of Cuba and curb needless waste like support for Pakistan yet Pakistan abuses special relations with us to harbour,shelter and protect Afghanistan terrorists.real change must come in all social, political,foreign and economic spheres in order for America to gain old respect of the world an d obama should not look back

  6. John Lintz April 19, 2009 at 10:28 am

    It is not true that one does not have to declare gold bullion if exporting from the USA. It is also not true, as is somtimes published, that you can carry out silver or gold coins at face value from the USA. If you carry it out and are caught, you will be arrested,. Likely the gold or silver will be confiscated. Check with US CBP!

  7. badartdog April 19, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I’m surprised there is no mention of Perth Mint certificates. Buy your gold here, and it is held in Perth, AU. you can sell back to the AU. Gold Corp. from a number of locations outside of the country, ( Bahamas). get the payout in non USD sent to any account you want. Because it is paid out in non USD the USA doesn’t know anything about it.

    • Steve May 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm

      Precious metals storage plans are becoming highly suspect. There is concern the entities, despite what they say, are playing the fractional reserve game.

      I recognize mining is a big deal for the Australian gov’t, but they also might be tempted to ‘go along to get along’ when it comes to the international financial crisis. Gold is an enemy of the statists and whether Australia is a statist regime or not, I let you decide, but in my view having ANY gov’t watch my gold is like having a fox in the hen house.

      In the 1980 run up in gold there were a lot of storage plans that went bust because they were playing the fractional reserve game and gambling with their depositers money. When the market turned against their bets…it was game over much like the housing market.

      • Dan December 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm

        Great points, I’ve been looking into the Perth Mint,
        I’d like to hear from anyone that has made transactions with them.
        They say they are insured by Lloyd’s of London.
        And is it really fraction banking or do they just pick-up some more gold to store for me?

  8. cherie April 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    What about moving money to banks in Australia? My mother is from there; does that give me any better opportunity or position to do financial business down under? thanks

  9. mark leon April 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    would like to know more of the advantages you talk about. I have had an offshore IBC with foreign bank account. It seems that this mechanism is still only profitable for the super wealthy and not for small businessmen trying to survive.

    What advantages do you have that I can acheieve about this.

    Mark

    Thanks

    • Steve May 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm

      The real advantage of going offshore is asset protection. When your money is offshore, it is much more difficult for the thieves to steal it, whether they wear bandannas or pin stripe suits.

      • Max June 25, 2009 at 11:04 pm

        That does not answer his question, he already said he had an offshore IBC so he knows how it works, and he found out it is too expensive to keep as a small businessman. He wants to know ways it can possibly work for him again and be affordable and secure.

  10. AndrewBoldman June 4, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

  11. Brett August 11, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Even diamonds and gemstones are subject to market flex, if the sky is really going to fall as much as this article has speculated that it will, the whole world is in trouble. Which brings me to my original idea, invest in beans, rice, ammo, and guns.

  12. Hal August 13, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Do you have any idea about Urkraine tax structure and currency taxes, Hal

  13. jake September 16, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    I am a bit confused by the suggestion that the province of Hainan in the PRC and the Philippines are good places to purchase real estate. In Hainan one can purchase an apartment and one can lease land but one cannot yet purchase land. And while both Chinese and foreigners have been speculating when the Chinese government might allow people to do that, it is just mindless speculation. Five years, ten years, who knows? The state ownership of land is the last vestige of the Communist system and the question is whether the ruling Chinese Communist Party would do that. Moreover, Hainan has a somewhat scruffy reputation in China on any kind of business dealing. And on the Philippines, you can purchase land in the Philippines if you have a Filipino wife or you very carefully set up a corporation. However, one would certainly want to be very clear headed in choosing either option.

  14. John September 27, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I’ve been reading this sort of doom-and-gloom stuff for over 20 years now and nothing’s happened. I read about it during every recession and the country always recovers. Survivalists, religious zealots, and every other crackpot on earth keep telling us again and again that the sky is falling, yet it always stays up.

    On and on it goes like a broken record that can’t be turned off: “Head for the hills!” I don’t think so. I’m staying right where I am, and you should, too. We’ll have a lot more room, and more opportunity, after all the scaredy-cats are gone.

  15. W. P. Hastings, November 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Hi,
    Thanks for producing your website. It is interesting and useful.
    Do you have any articles on Grand Cayman Islands?
    Or is there a good web site to visit?
    Thanks for your Help

    Bill Hastings,
    Black River, MI,

  16. Dan December 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Any currency experts out there!
    My question to you is if the USD collapses, What would the outcome be to countries like Panama, Ecuador, Belize, etc…, That base their monetary system on the USD?

    • Hugo Ryan October 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm

      plenty of real estate options in New Zealand Safe & quiet haven.. I have coastal land in Bay of Islands & looking for partnerships to develope into a self sustainable lifestyle. These will be protected by normal legal means to safeguard investments Sub-tropical good fishing & outdoor lifestyle contact hugoryan@hotmail.com

    • connie February 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Dan -
      I have no articles on the Cayman Islands but can tell you that
      one of the major national bank in the islands have just signed an agreement with the US. Gov’t
      that information on their U.S. bank customers’ accounts from January, 2014 will be sent to the U.S. Gov’t. in 2015. I’m going to assume that other banks have same agreements with the U.S. Gov’t.

      connie

  17. Jesse March 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    As of 5/10/2010, daily cash transfers to Ecuador, Argentina, and other countries will be limited to $1000 per day, down from the previous limit of $2500. The noose is tightening on bank transfers. I wonder how long it will be before they start restricting use of ATM cards in foreign countries?

  18. me March 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    It appears that Panama is no longer as safe or as anonymous as it once was. This post should be updated.

  19. nick October 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    serbia offers 12%interest per year on savings account kept in serbian dinars ..no tax on savings accounts kept in domestic currency !!!…..easy to open accounts …
    send me an e mali for details …

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