Not All Offshore Accounts are Illegal
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.