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Offshore Investments .

What is the Best Way To Invest Offshore?

The sad reality is we’re living in a world where the security of wealth is more at risk than ever before.

The threats to our wealth comes from a number of sources …

  • People suing us
  • Governments who want a crack at our wealth

The biggest threat is governments.

The nation-State, the most popular form of government in western countries, is obsolete, broke and fast running out of money.

In fact, most governments are massively in debt.

What happened in Cyprus and Greece shows what can happen in Australia and USA. Many believe, in fact, it is not a question of IF it will happen here, but WHEN.

The reality is, governments can no longer afford to operate. They provide for a larger number of citizens with fewer businesses to fund them.

Governments cannot tax people like they used to. People are now more educated, and less reliant on government. As a result, the relationship to the value or services received from government in response to the taxes paid by the citizen has significantly lessened.

So people are less tolerant of government high taxes than they used to be.

Yes people still pay high taxes and play ball with the government. But this is because governments continue to rely on the threat of violence to get people to pay their taxes. It is like the fox has taken control of the chicken coop, and even though he shouldn’t be there, the chickens are too afraid to stand up to him. Why? Because the fox has the power to use violence (ie. eat the chicken) to force compliance.

This is similar to how western governments work.

History shows this strategy will only work for a limited time. Eventually governments will run out of money and implode, and as we’ve already seen, wealthy businesses start moving their money and wealth offshore.

The Roman Empire gradually collapsed because it ran out of money. Its wealthy citizens departed from Rome in droves and despite threats of violence and other attempts to keep them there, it eventually failed.

We’ll see the same here.

More and more businesses and wealthy individuals are setting up their assets overseas for asset protection purposes to give privacy.

A lot of people are concerned about setting up offshore structures because of the media focus on it, how it is illegal.

But that is not the case.

Setting up offshore is not illegal. Rather …

Setting up offshore for the purposes of avoiding tax contrary to the tax legislation as an Australian resident is what’s illegal …

Let’s put it this way …

The ATO is less concerned about setting up offshore structures for the purposes of protecting wealth as they are about offshore structures set up to avoid tax.

Anyway because of the threats, more and more Australian businesses and wealthy individuals are looking to protect their wealth offshore.

I’ve already said businesses and individuals are looking offshore to protect assets.

Many of the same strategies which apply for Australian wealth protection can be applied in going offshore

So to take an example of some strategies you can use:

  • You can set up an offshore trust or company to hold your cash or share investments overseas
  • You can own international property (eg. US property) through a US LLC which is owned by a foreign corporation
  • You can set up an offshore trust which holds cash, lends money back into Australia and takes a mortgage or security over Australian assets
  • You can run your business overseas through an offshore structure, and set up a second offshore structure to hold the intellectual property or branding rights (similar to what MacDonalds, Google, Apple, Ebay and the multinationals do)
  • You can have one offshore structure to hold your business, and another offshore structure to hold your private investments

Like I said, the same principles which work for onshore asset protection in Australia also work for offshore asset protection.

Read more in our asset protection section, or watch the free education webinars on our site, to learn the principles of asset protection.

Are There any Tax Advantages in Setting up Offshore Investments through an Overseas Company?

For Australian residents, definitely not.

The controlled foreign company rules have a category of income called “tainted income”. That is, if the offshore company has offshore investments earning passive income, the income is specifically brought into the Australian tax net.

By contrast, if you run an international business, although you will pay tax on the income in Australia, you may be able to defer it.

If you are not an Australian resident, yes you can use offshore companies effectively to minimise tax on offshore investments.

For example, if you left Australia and became a resident of Malaysia or Thailand, you could set up a Hong Kong or Singaporian company and pay no tax, provided the income is generated outside of Hong Kong or Singapore.

In summary …

By setting up and holding investments in one of these jurisdictions, you can get some excellent offshore asset protection in relation to your offshore investments.

However, you won’t get any tax benefits as an Australian resident due to the strict controlled foreign company rules. You will only get these tax benefits if you are willing to leave Australia and move overseas.

How Do I Get in Contact With You?

Call us on 1300 669 336 or click here to organise a free no-obligation chat with an international tax specialist.

We won’t charge you unless we’re confident we can assist.

About the Author

Written by Warren Black head of the Wealth Safe international tax planning division.

Warren has 26 plus years experience in tax planning and asset protection, including 10 years at the Australian Tax Office. He is the ONLY recommended international tax consultant in Australia on Lance Spicer’s list of recommended international tax experts. Lance Spicer is a highly regarded authority in offshore structuring and planning and going under the radar.

Warren knows the tricks of the trade so you only pay the tax you legally have to and you take advantage of the international tricks available to build your wealth faster.

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