In This Issue...
by Simon Black
How would you feel if a gang of criminals broke into your home, stole your most valuable possessions, and then went on national TV to claim it was for your own good?
My guess is that you would be pretty angry. Yet this is essentially what our central bankers and political leadership are doing right now.
HIRE ACT, Part 2: If Privacy Isn't Your Top Concern, Will Your Transfers Still Be Affected?
by Joel M. Nagel, Esquire
Editor's Note: In the February 2011 issue of Hemispheres, international business attorney Joel Nagel wrote about provisions in a 2010 jobs bill called the HIRE Act that could affect your ability to move funds abroad outside the U.S. The provisions require both U.S. and foreign banks to withhold 30 percent of any transfer to foreign financial institutions that don’t meet United States standards for information sharing, and remit that percentage to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a tax payment. To get the payment refunded when you file your U.S. tax return, you have to show that the funds transferred were already taxed.
Most countries in the world, however, do have tax information sharing agreements with the IRS. Could you avoid the withholding provisions simply by avoiding transfers to countries that the IRS considers non-compliant tax havens? Below, Joel answers that question in detail.
Risk and the perception of risk are two different things. Many people think their decisions are based on reality, when actually they are based on false perceptions of risk.
For example, we have been led to believe that the traditional stock markets are safe, because they are large institutions ... run by really smart people ... regulated and overseen by various government agencies in charge of protecting us.
But hasn’t investing in Wall Street become a lot like going to Las Vegas, where the house always wins? Just look at the huge bonuses presented to tens of thousands of executives from companies that lost trillions of investor money. Madoff and many others like him simply slipped past examiners, and the results have been cataclysmic for hundreds of thousands of investors and clients.
Interest in international banking is growing, as people around the world are looking outside their own national borders for investment, travel, and new life experiences.
The growth in international travel, coupled with the increasing use of the internet to make a living or help manage businesses from afar, have led to growing use of international banking and international trusts to facilitate more mobile lives.
Some people who never intend to live outside their home country also open international bank accounts and trusts, simply to relocate or diversify their financial affairs, rather than their lives.
Belize Banking Score Card: How Do We Rate?
by Peter Perez-Valle
Belize is a leading Central American international banking jurisdiction. In addition to commercial banks that serve local customers, Belize has developed a small but growing community of international banks, serving customers from around the world in a variety of currencies.
Legislation such as the International Business Companies Act of 1990, the Offshore Banking (Amendment) Act of 2002, the Money Laundering Prevention (Amendment) Act of 2002, and the Trust Act of 1992 have officially established Belize as one of the leading international banking jurisdictions worldwide, incorporating the most secure features of international instruments instituted in Hong Kong, Panama and Cayman.