In this global economy, International Banking is much more a function of business and portfolio management than the 007 private accounts in the past. There was a time when people and companies would use private banking in an effort to avoid or lower the brunt of the taxman. Hiding money in numbered Swiss Accounts was considered sophisticated, slick or just plain smart for a number of decades.
US Persons - review all new tax compliance laws and reporting requirements. Make sure you spend time with a tax attorney or suitable advisor before opening up any accounts.
Fast-forward to today and the business of moving money anywhere outside of your host country is a function of investment choices, currency choices, diversification and the realization that we are in a true global economy. For example, China and India have grown their respective economies at 10 percent plus per year, while most of the western world has grown at a much lower pace. There is no reason to believe that emerging markets will not have sustainable double-digit future growth. Entrepreneurs wanting to get a piece of the economic pie in other parts of the world will surely want to avail themselves of choices outside their home country's investments and currencies.
International bank accounts can help with the process of investing and doing business in other far away lands. The major concern for clients, as well as advisors, is proper care assertion to comply with all government agencies in your host jurisdiction as well as your home jurisdiction.
Remember, US citizens and Green Card holders are taxed on World Wide Income from whatever source it derived from.
All banks and financial institutions have “Know Your Clients Rules.” Post 911 has caused many governments to deal with money laundering in new ways: The US Patriot Act, the new Bank Secrecy Act/Anti money laundering rules, the RICO act, war on terror, war on drugs, and the host of agencies to enforce codes clarifying and detailing the way people and companies can do business across borders.
Traditionally, moving money outside of your home border has been more complicated than opening up a passbook savings account at your local bank. Your local bank has the same compliance headaches as its offshore counterpart; privacy in banking can exist, secrecy does not. Niether are available regarding government agencies.
Many sources, including government agencies, provide banks with information necessary for compliance. This data on you is easily accessed at local branches as well as banking branches abroad. It may require greater due diligence and time for final approvals with international banking, but all financial institutions have the responsibility of compliance with the laws. Privacy does not exist when it involves any government agency. It is safe to assume, when banking at home or abroad, that any government body will know what you are doing.
Organizations like the US financial crimes enforcement network (FinCEN), the drug enforcement agency (DEA) along with co-operating government agencies such as HM Revenue & Customs in the UK and the French based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) make for a system of checks and balances that are all encompassing.
The world can truly be your oyster. Get sound advice and go after your dreams. Whether you are diversifying your portfolio or doing business overseas, always search for the best advisors who can help you comply with all tax and compliance rules.
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