Not All Off­shore Ac­counts are Il­le­gal

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Off­shore ac­counts can be fi­nan­cial tools for more than just the ul­tra­wealthy. Reg­u­lar peo­ple use them to sim­plify trans­ac­tions with rel­a­tives over­seas, or to keep money in places where they travel of­ten or for more dis­taste­ful rea­sons, like to hide money from a soon-to-be ex-spouse. Here are a few com­mon rea­sons an in­di­vid­ual might hold an off­shore ac­count: Fam­ily: Im­mi­grants of­ten main­tain ac­counts in their home coun­try to make things sim­pler to man­age when back home or to help care for rel­a­tives who stay be­hind. Con­ve­nience: There are an es­ti­mated 8 mil­lion Amer­i­cans liv­ing abroad. That means there are that many peo­ple who might want easy ac­cess to lo­cal banks to de­posit their pay­check, pay bills or get cash. Asset pro­tec­tion: Some peo­ple move as­sets off­shore to pro­tect them from a law­suit, di­vorce or other at­tack by a third party. Busi­ness: Small busi­ness own­ers, es­pe­cially In­ter­net-based ones, can have cus­tomers all around the world, and they may have lit­tle or no oper­a­tions in the coun­try where the own­ers live. These busi­nesses of­ten find it much sim­pler and cheaper to in­cor­po­rate the com­pany abroad where reg­is­tra­tion fees or taxes are low.

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