• What Is A Trust?

    In discussing offshore tax havens, a term that frequently arises is trust.  In a legal context, a trust is a relationship where one party holds another party’s property.  The settlor turns over control of assets to a trustee, the individual(s) in charge of holding the assets.  The trustee is in charge of disbursing the property […]

  • What Is A Tax Haven?

    This fundamental question is difficult to answer succinctly because there is no legal definition nor a universally agreed-upon definition.  The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international organization created to promote trade and economic progress between democratic governments, has identified several key features which make a country a tax haven: “no or low […]

  • Tax Fraud: Let Us Count (Some Of) The Ways …

    The primary challenge posed by tax havens is the secrecy that obscures money once it has gone offshore. Most tax havens have strict secrecy laws that prohibit the disclosure of financial information to foreign parties. For example, if the IRS suspects you have undisclosed assets in a US account, they can easily get an order […]

  • Money Laundering 101

    One of the drawbacks of earning or spending money illicitly is that it is hard to use this money for legitimate purposes, except in small amounts. If I make a small amount of cash from selling drugs, I can spend this cash fairly freely. I can probably even deposit small amounts of it into my […]

  • History Of Tax Havens: Switzerland

    In our article Are Tax Havens Inherently Bad?, we briefly discussed some of the legitimate uses of tax havens and the ethical justifications for their existence. A tax haven with strict secrecy laws can serve as a safeguard of individual rights against an abusive or unstable state. This came to the forefront in Europe during […]

  • History Of Tax Havens: New Jersey’s Easy Incorporation Laws

    To better understand the current state of tax havens, and perhaps to predict in some way where they are headed in the future, it is helpful to look at the history of their development. While the term tax haven can be rather ambiguous, there are certain key features that underlie them: secrecy, low taxation, and […]

  • Are Tax Havens Inherently Bad?

    In short- no, not inherently. Tax havens are a tool. And like any tool, they can be used for legitimate purposes, or misused. The primary problem with tax havens is their most important, perhaps defining feature: secrecy and non-transparency. “Secrecy and non-transparency” certainly sounds a bit nefarious, however. We could just as easily use the […]

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