They’ve spit on the Bill of Rights yet again

They’ve spit on the Bill of Rights yet again

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.

 
Could you be a traitor to your country?

Could you be a traitor to your country?

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.”

 
Visa and Passport Fraud “Red Flags”

Visa and Passport Fraud “Red Flags”

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.

 
The Real Laundering Threat Is Very Close to Home

The Real Laundering Threat Is Very Close to Home

You can imagine how much better I sleep at night knowing that an army of unseen bureaucrats is working ceaselessly on my behalf.

 
This Crazy Idea Could Affect Your Travel Plans

This Crazy Idea Could Affect Your Travel Plans

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.

 
This law would really leave us defenseless

This law would really leave us defenseless

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.

 
Panama Papers Proves Most Offshore Investments Are Legal

Panama Papers Proves Most Offshore Investments Are Legal

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, ...

 
The IRS could stop you from flying. Here’s how…

The IRS could stop you from flying. Here’s how…

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.

 
Will Your Retirement Be Forced to Bail Out Uncle Sam?

Will Your Retirement Be Forced to Bail Out Uncle Sam?

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.

 
Making America Great… One Lawsuit at a Time

Making America Great… One Lawsuit at a Time

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.

 
Two BIG Reasons NOT to keep your cash in the bank

Two BIG Reasons NOT to keep your cash in the bank

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.

 
It all started 2,300 years ago…

It all started 2,300 years ago…

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.

 
So what else are they (the IRS) lying about?

So what else are they (the IRS) lying about?

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.

 
The so-called relic (finally) roars back

The so-called relic (finally) roars back

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.

 
Is this only for “tax cheats” and “moochers”?

Is this only for “tax cheats” and “moochers”?

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.

 
You, an accidental terrorist? Thank Ted Cruz

You, an accidental terrorist? Thank Ted Cruz

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.

 
Best Place to Launder Money (Surprisingly)

Best Place to Launder Money (Surprisingly)

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.

 
The dirty little secret about EU passports

The dirty little secret about EU passports

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.

 
The police “stole” his house over $40

The police “stole” his house over $40

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.

 
Fred gave into this fear… and paid for it

Fred gave into this fear… and paid for it

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.

 
Puerto Rico: Still Too Good to Be True

Puerto Rico: Still Too Good to Be True

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.”

 
Should we start saving the “Chinese dollar”?

Should we start saving the “Chinese dollar”?

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.

 
No, the PATRIOT Act Didn’t Really Expire

No, the PATRIOT Act Didn’t Really Expire

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.

 
The Swiss win a big victory for bank privacy

The Swiss win a big victory for bank privacy

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.

 
It’s (Almost) Official: Tax Debt = No Passport

It’s (Almost) Official: Tax Debt = No Passport

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.

 
The Feds Won’t Stop Terrorism This Way

The Feds Won’t Stop Terrorism This Way

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.

 
Austria: Anonymous Storage and The World’s Safest Bank

Austria: Anonymous Storage and The World’s Safest Bank

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.

 
They’re coming for your cash

They’re coming for your cash

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.

 
How to Stay Off the “No Fly” List

How to Stay Off the “No Fly” List

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.

 
Watch Out for these 3 Offshore Scams

Watch Out for these 3 Offshore Scams

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.