The Raisin Administrative Committee Strikes Back!

The Raisin Administrative Committee Strikes Back!

With an annual budget now approaching $4 trillion, it’s not surprising that the US government has quite a few departments that most of us know nothing about.

 
With This Offer, You Better Hope You’re Lucky

With This Offer, You Better Hope You’re Lucky

Almost everyone can benefit by having a second citizenship and passport. The biggest advantage is that it gives you a way to travel internationally if you lose your primary passport or if your government seizes it.

 
Puerto Rico Tax Incentive

Tax Heavyweight Says Congress Should End Puerto Rico Tax Incentive

One of the most important services that I think I provide our consulting clients is to say “no” to some of their harebrained ideas. Over the last year or so, the scheme that I’ve said “no” to more than anything else involves Puerto Rico.

 
Boots on the Ground in Nevis

Boots on the Ground in Nevis

I just got back to the US from 10 days in Nevis (the smaller island in the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis). The purpose of my visit was to put together the infrastructure to service clients through Fortress Trust Ltd.

 
Why Janet Yellen Should Start Smoking Cigars

Why Janet Yellen Should Start Smoking Cigars

Every three months, the mainstream media participate in a ridiculous charade: interpreting the quarterly announcements from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

 
Is This the End of the Euro?

Is This the End of the Euro?

With the US dollar hitting multiyear highs against other global currencies almost daily, Americans are in a sweet spot for making international investments. Your US dollars will buy a lot more rubles, yen, and Canadian dollars than they would a year, or even a month, ago.

 
Is This the First Nail in the Coffin of Citizenship-Based Taxation?

Is This the First Nail in the Coffin of Citizenship-Based Taxation?

US citizens who expatriate – those who give up their citizenship and passport – don’t get a lot of respect.Take Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, for instance. When the Brazilian-born Saverin gave up US citizenship in 2011, it led to a political witch-hunt.

 
What Happens When Big Brother “Privatizes” Debt Collection?

What Happens When Big Brother “Privatizes” Debt Collection?

It’s bad enough to have the IRS or another government agency after you. But when Uncle Sam – or even a state or local government – hires a collection agency to chase after you, things can go downhill fast.

 
Why This Greek Tragedy Could Mean Global Disaster

Why This Greek Tragedy Could Mean Global Disaster

One of the assumptions of the eurozone – those 19 countries in Europe that use the euro as their national currencies – is that if any country left the zone, economic disaster would follow in its wake.

 
Why Another Country Just Caved in to FATCA.

Why Another Country Just Caved in to FATCA.

I’ve written frequently about FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. This one-sided law forces other countries to enforce US tax laws. If they fail to do so, they’re effectively locked out of US markets and the US dollar – the world’s reserve currency (at least for now).

 
Are You Making This Superstar’s Mistake?

Are You Making This Superstar’s Mistake?

Just about every middle-class and wealthy family in the US uses household help at some point. Babysitters, maids, gardeners, nannies… American homes are full of them.

 
Are Your Offshore Investments a Tax Scam?

Are Your Offshore Investments a Tax Scam?

Each year, with great fanfare, the IRS publishes a list of what it calls the “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams.” Last month, it published its most recent list, which you can read here.

 
What’s in Your Wallet? Coming Soon: a National ID Card

What’s in Your Wallet? Coming Soon: a National ID Card

It was a warm spring day in St. John’s, Antigua. Driving on the left, as is the custom in much of the Caribbean, was a bit of a challenge, but eventually I found the building I was seeking.

 
Why Eric Holder’s “Good Deed” on Civil Forfeiture…Wasn’t That Good

Why Eric Holder’s “Good Deed” on Civil Forfeiture…Wasn’t That Good

One of the departing initiatives taken by retiring US Attorney General Eric Holder was to impose limits on a legal process called “adoption.” This is not the kind of adoption in which you add a child to your family.

 
The IRS’s New Dirty Trick… and What to Do About It

The IRS’s New Dirty Trick… and What to Do About It

There’s a good reason why Google, General Electric, Abbott, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, and more or less all the other big corporations use offshore strategies: ...

 
Why FATCA Is a Train Wreck Waiting to Happen

Why FATCA Is a Train Wreck Waiting to Happen

FATCA, otherwise known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is one of the most arrogant and one-sided laws ever passed by Congress. I first wrote about it in this essay.

 
The #1 Trick to Fitting In Offshore

The #1 Trick to Fitting In Offshore

One of the highlights of my life was the nearly three years that I spent in Vienna, Austria. I was there to attend an LL.M. course in international tax law at the Wirtschaftsuniversität, the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

 
Why Uncle Sam Wants These Citizenship Programs Shut Down

Why Uncle Sam Wants These Citizenship Programs Shut Down

Every so often, I read an article predicting that the US and other major countries are about to force nations that offer “citizenship by investment programs” (CIPs) to shut them down.

 
Why You Should Make “Going Offshore” Your Top New Year’s Resolution

Why You Should Make “Going Offshore” Your Top New Year’s Resolution

One of the recurring questions I get from our US readers and clients is, “Since the IRS has to know everything you do ‘offshore’ anyway, why should you even bother?”

 
It’s Official: The Worldwide Bail-ins Are Coming

It’s Official: The Worldwide Bail-ins Are Coming

In case you missed the announcement, Cyprus-style bail-ins are coming to a bank near you. On November 16, leaders of the G20 Group of Nations – the 20 largest economies – made an important decision.

 
Why the IRS Goes After the “Minnows” and Ignores the “Whales”

Why the IRS Goes After the “Minnows” and Ignores the “Whales”

The intrepid bureaucrats at the Internal Revenue Service have done a superb job of making us fear them. We dutifully file our 1040s, FBARs, and all manner of other forms...

 
Why London’s Mayor Won’t Pay “Outrageous” US Tax Bill

Why London’s Mayor Won’t Pay “Outrageous” US Tax Bill

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, just became the unlikely spokesperson for the 8 million or so US citizens living abroad. Boris is an “accidental” US citizen. Although his parents were British, he was born in the US.

 
How Currency Controls Helped Me Save $12,000

How Currency Controls Helped Me Save $12,000

I owe a debt of thanks to the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez. You see, back in 2003, Chávez imposed foreign exchange controls to stem “capital flight” – ...

 
Why Your Offshore Dream Home Might Be Illegal

Why Your Offshore Dream Home Might Be Illegal

Expats and foreign investors are among the easiest marks for fraud – one of the dangers of international investing that promoters don’t like to talk about. Fraudulent real estate deals are rife.

 
Puerto Rico: Yes, It Really Is Too Good to Be True!

Puerto Rico: Yes, It Really Is Too Good to Be True!

My recent essay debunking a Puerto Rican tax incentive sparked a heated reaction from one of its most ardent backers. You can read it here.

 
Will the IRS Keep Its Latest Promise?

Will the IRS Keep Its Latest Promise?

Indulge yourself for a moment and imagine you're back in 1986. You’re listening to “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer on the radio and on your way to the movie theater to watch Aliens, starring Sigourney Weaver.

 
Why the US Postal Service Turned Spy

Why the US Postal Service Turned Spy

FATCA and similar laws have eviscerated financial privacy in the US. And last year, thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden, the world learned the extent of the surveillance conducted by America’s largest spy agency, the NSA.

 
Why the Feds Won’t Confiscate Your Retirement Plan… But They Will Do This

Why the Feds Won’t Confiscate Your Retirement Plan… But They Will Do This

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had close to 30 consultations with Nestmann Group clients. And one of their top concerns is that Barack Obama or some future US president will find a way to confiscate the money in their IRAs or 401(k) plans.

 
Puerto Rico: Don’t Believe the Hype

Puerto Rico: Don’t Believe the Hype

Unlike many other advisory services, we take a historical perspective when it comes to supposedly fresh and new ideas. And it’s for that reason that I’ve been skeptical of the tax incentives for individuals that Puerto Rico enacted in 2012 ...

 
The Top Six Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Fear Going Offshore

The Top Six Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Fear Going Offshore

In my nearly 30 years of helping Americans “internationalize” themselves, there are four giant obstacles I have watched my clients overcome before finally taking action: Inertia, fear, complacence, and hopelessness.