Showing posts from December, 2019

Engagement Letters for US Tax Services


Thank you for trusting us with your taxes.  We will work super hard to be worthy of your trust.

As part of the on-boarding process, we need you read, sign, date, take a picture and email the executed engagement letter to

Please click HERE for the link

- Here's how you can sign PDFs using Adobe -

Crypto-Currencies and Asset Protection

A crucial facet to using foreign trusts to protect wealth is ensuring that the trustee and trust assets remain outside of any jurisdiction where the grantor might be sued.

With crypto assets, asset protection may simply involve the transfer of a private key to an offshore trustee (or manager).

Properly selected offshore trustees are unlikely to become subject to the jurisdiction of a court where a defendant may be sued. Absent jurisdictional authority, a court is powerless to compel the trustee to turn over assets. An added benefit is that blockchains are decentralized. This means they are not subject to any central authority (such as bank or other financial institution) that might be legally compelled to provide a court with access or control over assets in its possession. Without the complete private key, no court or legal authority can manipulate ownership of a blockchain asset.

Worries about a rogue trustee or manager can be allayed by requiring multiple keys, such that two (or m…

Tax Evasion vs Tax Avoidance

I frequently have discussions on tax evasion vs tax avoidance. So many people think that any mention of using different jurisdictions, offshore accounts etc seems "suspicious".

There is tax avoidance or tax planning which is completely legal.

But tax evasion is illegal.

Within recent time however, there are cases where avoidance is declared as illegal. How does this work? Well taxation has been receiving much attention and this means that the debate has been an evolving one.  It is impossible to discuss this area in Common Law jurisdictions without reference to case law.  Impossible.  Simply reviewing code sections is insufficient. 
In the UK, we go back to 1936 where there was the famous Duke of Westminster’s case (1936) AC 1, where Lord Tomlin proclaimed:
Every man is entitled, if he can, to order his affairs so as that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be. If he succeeds in ordering them so as to secure this result, then, how…

Nevis: one of the world’s most secretive offshore havens

In terms of Caribbean jurisdictions, I've previously mentioned -  The BVI - Caymans - These are the two most popular but there are probably dozens of attractive offshore jurisdictions to consider.  Including Nevis. 

The title is derived from an article published in the Guardian in 2018 -
In the article, the Guardian explains that - In the world of offshore, Nevis is a bottom-feeder. It specialises in letting its clients create corporations with greater anonymity than almost anywhere else on earth. Last year, information on 70,000 Nevisian companies was leaked as part of the Paradise Papers investigation, but that didn’t help us find out who owns them: ownership information is so secret there that even the islan…

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

If you meet certain requirements, you may qualify for the foreign earned income and foreign housing exclusions and the foreign housing deduction.
You can use the IRS’s Interactive Tax Assistant tool to help determine whether income earned in a foreign country is eligible to be excluded from income reported on your U.S. federal income tax return.
If you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien of the United States and you live abroad, you are taxed on your worldwide income. However, you may qualify to exclude from income up to an amount of your foreign earnings that is adjusted annually for inflation ($92,900 for 2011, $95,100 for 2012, $97,600 for 2013, $99,200 for 2014 and $100,800 for 2015). In addition, you can exclude or deduct certain foreign housing amounts.
You may also be entitled to exclude from income the value of meals and lodging provided to you by your employer.  In order to benefit from the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, the taxpayer must meet one of the following two crite…