Three Exciting New Passport Programs… Or Are They?

Three Exciting New Passport Programs… Or Are They?

Only 100 years ago, your great-grandparents could travel almost anywhere in the world without a passport. And they certainly didn't need one to leave their own country. World War I (1914-1918) changed all that. Many countries, especially in Europe, began requiring foreigners who crossed their borders to identify themselves with a travel document. Passport holders from "enemy" countries were turned away.

 
The War on Privacy is coming to a license plate near you…

The War on Privacy is coming to a license plate near you…

If you live in the eastern USA, you've probably encountered an automatic toll-collection system called "E-Z Pass." No need to stop. No need to fish for quarters in your pocket. And no need to roll down the window to confront the often grumpy tollbooth attendant. No wonder E-Z Pass is popular! Indeed, about 25 million drivers in 15 states now use E-Z Pass. Now for the not so easy to stomach side.

 
And the money trail leads to…

And the money trail leads to…

Foreign banks, brokers, and trust companies are falling head over heels in their rush to get rid of as many U.S. clients as possible.

 
How to Finance a Second Passport, and More…

How to Finance a Second Passport, and More…

I get a lot of questions each week – many of which would be helpful to more than just the person asking. In that spirit, I thought I'd share a few of the more recent ones about self-directed IRA, second passports and FATCA.

 
The NSA Has Nothing on These Guys…

The NSA Has Nothing on These Guys…

Thanks to secret documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we know that the U.S. government routinely monitors email messages, chat sessions, voice sessions, what sites we visit, what we buy and on and on... But when it comes to personal privacy, there's another group out there that makes the NSA look like simpletons.

 
Someone Didn’t Do Their Research… And an Offshore Lie Is Born

Someone Didn’t Do Their Research… And an Offshore Lie Is Born

If you live or invest in the USA, hold a U.S. passport or green card, or have even the most remote exposure to U.S. dollars, you face many threats.

 
If they try to sell you this, run, don’t walk…

If they try to sell you this, run, don’t walk…

Don't get me wrong – I hate government interference in my daily life. I hate how the state slithers into every aspect of our lives, takes our production in the form of taxes and generally bullies us around however they like. No doubt you do too.

 
What the Expat Stats Don’t Show…

What the Expat Stats Don’t Show…

As you may know, the latest quarterly statistics on "expatriation"—i.e., renunciation of U.S. citizenship—were published just a few days ago. A total of 1,130 names appeared in the latest list, which happens to be many more than any previous quarterly total, and more than the total number of expatriations reported in all of 2012.

 
joint terrorism task force

How Your Boss’ Prying Eyes Could Land You a Visit from the Feds

By some estimates, more than two-thirds of company-provided computers in the U.S. are monitored by employers. If you work for such a firm, every email you send, every cute and crazy cat video you watch on YouTube, and every Google search you make is tracked, catalogued, and archived somewhere in the system.

 
revoke your passport

Congress Wants the IRS to Cancel Your Passport

If you think your U.S. citizenship gives you the right to a U.S. passport, think again. The government has several ways to cancel or refuse to renew your passport.

 
You Got Questions? We Got Answers… Dual Nationality, Dominica, Expatriation, and More

You Got Questions? We Got Answers… Dual Nationality, Dominica, Expatriation, and More

I get a lot of questions each week – many of which would be helpful to more than just the person asking. In that spirit, I thought I'd share a few of the more recent ones.

 
What the Passport Pitchmen Don’t Tell You…

What the Passport Pitchmen Don’t Tell You…

Acquiring a passport in another country and then expatriating—giving up your U.S. citizenship and passport—is a very serious decision. If you change your mind and want to return "home" to the United States, you might not be able to.

 
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics… at FreedomFest

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics… at FreedomFest

Every year, I spend four days in the Nevada desert at the annual FreedomFest event. In case you've never been, it's a celebration of "great books, great ideas, and great thinkers," and an opportunity to meet new friends of like mind.

 
Could the Government Force You  to Tell Your Deepest Darkest Secrets?

Could the Government Force You to Tell Your Deepest Darkest Secrets?

It can... at least when it wants to ensure you're paying your taxes. Even though it goes against one of the hallmarks of the Bill of Rights, which reads:

 
Questions, We Get Questions… Australia, New Zealand, and Gold

Questions, We Get Questions… Australia, New Zealand, and Gold

Each week I answer dozens of questions from clients and prospective clients. Here's a sampling of a few I've received recently. Hope that you enjoy, and profit from the answers!

 
Traveling on a Revoked Passport… What Can You Do Next?

Traveling on a Revoked Passport… What Can You Do Next?

For the last month, I've been riveted by the developments surrounding the case of Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old whistleblower who confirmed that the U.S. National Security Agency is, in fact, spying on almost everyone.

 
Civil Forfeiture of Cash: It Could Happen to You

Civil Forfeiture of Cash: It Could Happen to You

If you don't trust U.S. banks to protect the monies you've deposited with them, you're hardly alone.

 
“Homelanders” to U.S. Expatriates: Don’t Come Back…Ever

“Homelanders” to U.S. Expatriates: Don’t Come Back…Ever

The United States is one of only two countries (the other is Eritrea, a military dictatorship) that taxes its citizens and long-term residents, no matter where they live. Even Americans who haven't lived in the United States in decades must pay tax on their worldwide income as if you never left. What's more, they must comply with complex reporting obligations, with violations subject to draconian civil and criminal penalties.

 
When You Need to Disappear

When You Need to Disappear

Whistleblower Edward Snowden needs to disappear if he is to avoid kidnapping, assassination, extradition, or deportation to the United States.  If you're ever faced by a situation in which you need to disappear, right away, what would you do?

 
How the USA Captures Whistleblowers and Other Political Enemies

How the USA Captures Whistleblowers and Other Political Enemies

Sitting in a restaurant in Belize City last week, I was mesmerized by television reports describing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.  Most of the press coverage of Snowden's leaks has dealt with the breathtaking scope of the U.S. government surveillance he revealed.  But, I've been thinking about the reprisals that he's likely to face—and what options the United States has to force his return.

 
Nevis LLCs: State-of-the-Art Asset Protection

Nevis LLCs: State-of-the-Art Asset Protection

Do you have business or investment assets you're looking to protect from frivolous litigation? If you do, a Nevis limited liability company (NLLC) could be one if the most effective and least expensive ways to protect it.

 
No Statute of Limitations for Failing to File U.S. Tax Returns

No Statute of Limitations for Failing to File U.S. Tax Returns

It's not something you want to think about, but old taxes can come back to haunt you. This is especially true of returns you've never filed. The statute of limitations—that legal egg timer, normally set to three years—never starts to run on unreported activities. And there are cases now of the IRS going back decades, collecting big money—plus penalties and interest—on form-filing failures, accounting errors, and innocent mistakes by unwary people.

 
Lies, Lies, and Expatriation Statistics

Lies, Lies, and Expatriation Statistics

Official IRS statistics published in the Federal Register show that the number of U.S. citizens or long-term residents losing U.S. citizenship increased from 45 in the last quarter of 2012 to 679 in the first quarter of 2013. In 2012, according to IRS expatriation statistics, 932 Americans officially expatriated.

 
The Best Quality of Life in the World— Why and How to Become A Resident or Citizen of Austria

The Best Quality of Life in the World— Why and How to Become A Resident or Citizen of Austria

Why would someone want to become a resident or a citizen of Austria?

 
U.S. Government Watchdog Agency Urges IRS to Intensify Efforts to Identify Offshore Tax Cheats

U.S. Government Watchdog Agency Urges IRS to Intensify Efforts to Identify Offshore Tax Cheats

While you’d never know it reading recent headlines describing IRS targeting of conservative “Tea Party” type groups, a much larger IRS effort is underway to identify U.S. persons who have failed to disclose reportable and possibly taxable non-U.S. investments.

 
U.K. Latest European Country to Woo High Net Worth Immigrants

U.K. Latest European Country to Woo High Net Worth Immigrants

It’s no secret that many European countries are in dire financial straits. While the United Kingdom is in better financial health than say, Cyprus, public finances have approached crisis mode. The U.K.’s budget deficit for 2013-2014 will approach 8% of GDP, more than double the figure considered sustainable even by Keynesian economists.   The country is therefore ready to woo high net worth immigrants.

 
Customs Pre-Clearance: The Lowest Hassle Way to Enter the USA

Customs Pre-Clearance: The Lowest Hassle Way to Enter the USA

As a former U.S. citizen, I still come back to the United States periodically to visit friends and family.  When I do, I always try to use the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (C&BP ) pre-clearance facility.

 
Citizenship in the Commonwealth of Dominica: An Update

Citizenship in the Commonwealth of Dominica: An Update

Last week, six Nestmann Group clients applying for economic passport and citizenship in the Commonwealth of Dominica had face-to-face interviews in Roseau, Dominica's capital. The interview is an integral part of the application process, and is scheduled only after an applicant has received preliminary approval for their application.

 
Appeals Court Reduces Scope of Warrantless Searches of Electronic Devices at U.S. Border Crossings

Appeals Court Reduces Scope of Warrantless Searches of Electronic Devices at U.S. Border Crossings

If you travel internationally with a laptop computer, smart phone, or other electronic devices, beware. Customs officials may seize, search and copy the contents of any such device. In most countries, there's no arrest, warrant or probable cause required.  Every day, there are warrantless searches of electronic devices at U.S. Border crossings.

 
Fractional Reserve Banking: It’s Not Your Money…You Only Think It Is!

Fractional Reserve Banking: It’s Not Your Money…You Only Think It Is!

In the aftermath of the forced confiscation of bank accounts in Cyprus, the question that clients ask me most is, “could it happen here?” “Here” is wherever the client lives or invests, and could be the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, or any other country.  The answer is yes. This result stems from the nature of our modern financial system, built as it is on the flawed foundation of a poorly-understood concept called “fractional reserve banking.”