By Mark Nestmann • May 24, 2016
Your friendly Uncle Sam has done a great job of ending the civil liberties protections enshrined in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Think of the PATRIOT Act, FATCA, and Obamacare, just to name a few examples.
By Mark Nestmann • May 17, 2016
Expatriation – deliberately giving up your US citizenship and passport – is admittedly a touchy topic. Congressman Sam Gibbons (D-FL), referring to expatriates, spoke of “the despicable act of renouncing allegiance to the United States.”
By Mark Nestmann • May 10, 2016
It was the perfect pitch for 1,076 young foreigners who had just graduated from a US university but didn’t want to return home. They could continue their studies at the University of Northern New Jersey without bothering to attend class, take tests, or butt heads with professors.
By Mark Nestmann • May 3, 2016
You can imagine how much better I sleep at night knowing that an army of unseen bureaucrats is working ceaselessly on my behalf.
By Mark Nestmann • April 26, 2016
Those “heroic” EU bureaucrats in Brussels are at it again. They’ve already banned bananas that are too curved. Water companies can’t claim that drinking water fights dehydration.
By Mark Nestmann • April 19, 2016
In just the last year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) revealed that hackers had stolen the personal information of more than 20 million current and former federal government applicants and employees.
By Mark Nestmann • April 12, 2016
That’s what the headlines should have proclaimed. But they didn’t. Instead, when announcing the theft of more than 11.5 million records from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, ...
By Mark Nestmann • April 5, 2016
Imagine arriving at your local airport one morning for a domestic flight to a neighboring city. You approach the security checkpoint and the TSA lackey asks for your identification.
By Mark Nestmann • March 29, 2016
It’s not a popular thing to say, but the US is broke. Busted. Bankrupt. If Uncle Sam were a corporation, it would have been declared insolvent decades ago.
By Mark Nestmann • March 22, 2016
Donald Trump’s legal antics underscore something that’s very wrong with the US legal system. When he encounters someone who says or writes something he doesn’t like, or refuses to be bullied, he sues.
By Mark Nestmann • March 15, 2016
It’s bad enough depositing your money into a bank account and earning essentially zero interest on it, or in some countries, having a negative interest rate.
By Mark Nestmann • March 8, 2016
300 years before the birth of Christ, a man named Neoptolemus took what was alleged to be his ill-gotten gains and fled the city-state of Athens. The leader of Athens, Lycurgus, demanded that Neoptolemus be executed for fleeing with his wealth.
By Mark Nestmann • March 1, 2016
In the runup to April 15’s tax-filing deadline, the IRS has once again published a list of what it calls its “Dirty Dozen” tax scams.
By Mark Nestmann • February 23, 2016
Economist John Maynard Keynes is often quoted as calling it the “barbarous relic.” Soviet revolutionary Vladimir Lenin said he would build toilets out of it, as the ultimate symbol of capitalist waste.
By Mark Nestmann • February 16, 2016
Earlier this month, the Federal Register published its quarterly list of former US citizens and permanent residents who have “expatriated,” i.e., given up their US citizenship or permanent residence.
By Mark Nestmann • February 2, 2016
It’s bad enough that the US government has the authority to revoke your passport if you have a “seriously delinquent tax debt.” That little gem was buried in the 2015 Highway Funding Bill, which President Obama signed in December.
By Mark Nestmann • January 26, 2016
I’m in the executive lounge at Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Martin drinking double espressos and waiting for a connecting flight to Charlotte.
By Mark Nestmann • January 19, 2016
Greetings from the island of Nevis! I’m here dealing with yearend formalities associated with Fortress Trust Ltd., a registered agent for Nevis trusts, LLCs, and IBCs.
By Mark Nestmann • January 12, 2016
When I was nine years old, I was one of the smallest students in my fourth grade class. With my small size, not to mention my smart mouth, I attracted more than my share of elementary school bullies.
By Mark Nestmann • January 5, 2016
In my 30-year consulting career, I’ve met a fair number of clients who are paralyzed by fear. They believe that no matter what they do, disaster lurks around the corner.
By Mark Nestmann • December 28, 2015
In the 30 years I’ve been writing about developments in the offshore world, I’ve been called a lot of things: “Insightful”… ”thoughtful”… but also “misguided”… and (my personal favorite) “pessimistic.”
By Mark Nestmann • December 22, 2015
Three weeks ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that the Chinese renminbi (aka yuan) would join a group of other currencies to comprise what’s called the SDR (Special Drawing Rights) basket.
By Mark Nestmann • December 15, 2015
A few days ago, I was speaking to a client who informed me that “the PATRIOT Act expired last week.” She went on to tell me that as a result, she now felt her electronic communications were safe from warrantless government surveillance.
By Mark Nestmann • December 8, 2015
From 2006–2008, Falciani worked in HSBC’s information technology department. While there, he secretly downloaded the account details of more than 100,000 HSBC clients.
By Mark Nestmann • December 1, 2015
The paragons of public virtue that make up the US Congress really, really want to crack down on tax cheats. Thanks to a highway funding bill about to head to President Obama’s desk, if you owe the IRS more than $50,000, you’ll lose your passport.
By Mark Nestmann • November 24, 2015
I was in London when news emerged from Paris that a squad of Islamic militants had massacred 130 people in restaurants, theaters, and other locations. The reaction was entirely predictable: a debate over what can be done to prevent similar incidents in the future.
By Mark Nestmann • November 17, 2015
I just finished a week’s visit to Vienna, where I lived from 2003-2005 while earning a LL.M (Master of Laws) in international tax law at a local university.
By Mark Nestmann • November 10, 2015
It might sound like a conspiracy theory spun by right-wing crazies. But judging by the increasing desperation of governments to reboot the world economy, it just might happen.
By Mark Nestmann • November 3, 2015
Airport security in the USA is a joke, and a bad one at that. It’s easy to create a fake boarding pass with Photoshop. And it’s not much harder to create fake identification documents.
By Mark Nestmann • October 27, 2015
You could be forgiven for believing offshore frauds are a thing of the past. After all, with “Know Your Customer” rules that practically require you to submit to a DNA test to open an offshore account, you wouldn’t think it’s exactly easy for scam artists to bank the proceeds of fraud.