By Mark Nestmann • April 15, 2014
I have a globe from the 1960s. It includes countries with names like British Honduras, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Rhodesia.
None of these countries exist today, at least not by those names.
Now, take a look at this map of Europe from 1914. Austria was several times as big as it is today. Slovakia and the Czech Republic didn’t exist. What is now Turkey was the much larger Ottoman Empire. North Africa was occupied by France.
By Mark Nestmann • April 8, 2014
The IRS believes that most Americans living overseas violate US tax and reporting rules.
And for once, I agree with them.
While there are no official statistics, the US State Department estimates that 7.6 million US citizens live abroad. Yet only about 800,000 Americans file annual reports with the US Treasury listing non-US financial accounts. And that number includes Americans living in the US.
By Mark Nestmann • April 1, 2014
The year is 1633, and a respected old man finds himself on trial for his life. His crime? Writing a book, the product of more than 20 years of research and study.
By Mark Nestmann • March 27, 2014
Mark shares with you a recent conversation he had with Chris Kalin of Henley & Partners, the global leader in citizenship and residence planning. Read below to find out about Chris and his firm, as well as an opportunity for you to learn firsthand about a unique citizenship opportunity.
By Mark Nestmann • March 25, 2014
Did you know you can charge an iPhone with just an onion and a glass of Gatorade? “Really?” you say. No, that’s a fib, although...
By Mark Nestmann • March 20, 2014
For hundreds of years, Spain has been a predominately Roman Catholic country, but that wasn’t always the case. Surprisingly, the country was once...
By Mark Nestmann • March 18, 2014
Imagine for a moment that you and your wife operate a successful business refurbishing and selling used medical equipment. One day, you receive a letter from a federal prosecutor informing you that the business is the target of a criminal investigation. The prosecutor demands...
By Mark Nestmann • March 11, 2014
It’s no secret that governments around the world are hard up for revenue. And to get it, they’ll do just about anything.
By Mark Nestmann • March 4, 2014
Do you remember when policemen were called “peace officers”? I do. In the small West Virginia town where I grew up, police work consisted mainly of community-oriented engagement, not unlike what you might see on The Andy Griffith Show.
By Mark Nestmann • February 25, 2014
Have you ever wondered what really goes on behind the scenes at Transportation Security Administration airport checkpoints? Wonder no more. Recently, a former TSA screener wrote a tell-all article for Politico Magazine describing how America’s airport security apparatus actually works.
By Mark Nestmann • February 18, 2014
A recurring theme in my work is that Big Brother and big business conspire against the interests of ordinary citizens in countless ways. And just last week, I discovered another example. An article in a respected scientific journal confirmed...
By Mark Nestmann • February 11, 2014
Imagine yourself at a neighborhood pool party. Everything’s going smoothly. Marge next door made a heavenly potato salad, and Pete across the street is doing a great impression of the late Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.
By Mark Nestmann • February 4, 2014
I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that most of the mainstream media seem determined to avoid mentioning the ongoing NSA spy scandal as much as possible… or how stupid they must think we really are.
By Mark Nestmann • January 28, 2014
War is hell. I discovered this early, growing up during the Vietnam era. I couldn’t imagine being a soldier with orders to kill the “enemy.” If you disobeyed, you’d get court-martialed or executed. And, even if you followed your orders, the enemy always shoots back.
By Mark Nestmann • January 21, 2014
Imagine you’re cruising down the highway, top down, your favorite song on the radio. Then you notice the blinking lights behind you. You get pulled over for doing 80 in a 65 mph zone.
By Mark Nestmann • January 14, 2014
A free lunch is a wonderful thing if you’re not the one picking up the tab. For the last 50 years, that’s what the world’s richest countries – the US, the EU, Australia, and a handful of others –have offered their citizens, in the form of a cradle-to-grave welfare state.
By Mark Nestmann • January 7, 2014
Every year, my associates and I help clients get a second citizenship (and the passport that goes along with it). And one of the questions that I hear most often is: "Will the US government know I’m doing this?" Officially, the answer is "no." But that’s not a complete answer...
By Mark Nestmann • December 31, 2013
The newest passport scam that has come to my attention recently is for Mexico. The Mexico "program," as the company offering this scheme calls it, can be completed in four months and with only two visits to the country.
By Mark Nestmann • December 24, 2013
Pop icon Tina Turner has just joined a multitude of famous – and not so famous – expats. Having recently acquired Swiss citizenship, Turner, a long-time resident of the canton of Zurich, voluntarily "relinquished" her US citizenship and passport.
By Mark Nestmann • December 17, 2013
The same is true of offshore tax planning. But in this case, the bear is not a 500lb animal of the forest; it’s the 100,000+ strong army of tax professionals that make up the IRS. Unfortunately, some people like to learn their own lessons, so, if you insist on provoking the IRS, here's a great way to do so.
By Mark Nestmann • December 10, 2013
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've written quite a bit about it in the past, almost always on how it negatively affects the average American trying to do business offshore. Today, though, I actually have some good news to report.
By Mark Nestmann • December 6, 2013
Little by little, Bitcoin is winning individual users all across the planet. But something else is happening at the same time: Bitcoin is emerging as the anti-dollar. To the many countries and businesses that have been abused by dollar tyranny, Bitcoin provides a path of escape.
By Mark Nestmann • December 4, 2013
The politics of economic citizenship programs can be ugly. But occasionally, I find something in the works that makes me smile.
By Mark Nestmann • November 28, 2013
It’s been a long time since I had a warm and fuzzy feeling leaving—and especially re-entering—the USA on an international trip. Enhanced security measures in effect since the 9/11 attacks, the long lines to cross the border, and the fact that the US border zone is effectively a “Constitution-free zone” all contribute to a vague dread every time I cross a US border.
By Mark Nestmann • November 20, 2013
For me, one of the most ironic aspects of the Edward Snowden spy scandal is watching the reaction of foreign governments to it. Top-secret documents Snowden leaked to the press reveal that the US National Security Agency monitors phone calls, e-mail messages, and other electronic data in many countries.
By Mark Nestmann • November 12, 2013
If you follow the offshore scene, you may have heard about the proposed new economic citizenship program in Malta, an island nation in the center of the Mediterranean.
By Mark Nestmann • November 5, 2013
You might be wondering what on earth a fairly standard kitchen implement has to do with protecting your assets and personal freedom. Well – although most practitioners would never admit it – it turns out that cookie cutters and asset protection planning have a lot in common.
By Mark Nestmann • October 29, 2013
Two weeks ago, a major US bank sent out a letter that said it would no longer allow some account-holders to make outgoing international wire transfers. Incoming transfers were still OK. If you didn't like the new limitations—no problem.
By Mark Nestmann • October 23, 2013
In the 28 years I've worked in the offshore investment arena, I thought I'd heard every possible piece of bad advice clients could get. But one came up recently that takes the cake.
By Mark Nestmann • October 15, 2013
According to a recent poll by research firm Rasmussen Reports, fully 9% of the U.S. population has considered "expatriation." These are truly shocking numbers—nearly one in ten Americans thinking about giving up their birthright.