by David Fessler, Advisory Panelist
Paying income taxes, for the most part, is a foregone conclusion. You can lower them, avoid them, and even delay paying them. But eventually you must write the government a check, in an amount determined by the I.R.S. Tax Code.
But a number of citizens aren't happy with just paying less tax. They simply don't want to pay any, and have stashed their fortunes in icy Swiss banks or in tropical Bermuda.
In the past, bank officials in those countries would keep the depositor's name a secret, and banking laws in their countries allowed them to do so.
Those days and practices are gone.
- With the recent capitulation of IBS, the Swiss banking system - one of the biggest and most infamous holdouts to the I.R.S. - bowed to the demands of the taxman and opened up their books.
- In fact, the world's tax shelters are growing fewer every year.
- As accountants and lawyers devise even more, clever ways to hide and shield assets, the I.R.S. quickly closes the holes and shells the safe havens.
But don't give up hope. There is a way for you to build a "bomb" shelter that protects your income and your assets from the fingers of the taxman. You can legally avoid paying income taxes in the good ol' USA with a few simple investments.
The Hottest Income Tax Loopholes
Many individuals who are looking to hide assets from the I.R.S. don't have to turn to offshore investing to do it. They can stay right here in the USA, where a number of alternatives present themselves in the form of dummy or blind corporations.
And combined with a much more insidious form of secrecy - that in which bank officials or other authorities simply don't ask for names. It makes for a very appealing climate for the unscrupulous.
There are a few states at the top of the list:
- Wyoming and Delaware offer fast incorporation services, and limited financial reporting and disclosure requirements.
- Nevada goes even further: it doesn't ask for the names of company officers or shareholders, and it doesn't share what little information it has with the I.R.S. The reality is that you'll need more information to obtain your driver's license than you'll need to create a corporation in Nevada.
- As a result, Nevada incorporates around 80,000 new companies a year, and there are currently over 400,000 active companies registered there. There's no question there's bad guys using these states for purposes of money laundering and tax evasion.
No one knows for sure how much money is being sheltered, but none of it has gone unnoticed by the feds. A study conducted by the I.R.S.