by Amy Nutt

You’ve probably seen some sort of mob movie or seen on the news where a criminal has stored money in an offshore account. You may even associate an offshore account as being something that only the rich own because they are trying to evade taxes or they just want to show off how fancy their life is by bragging about their Swiss bank account. Whatever the reason for offshore bank accounts, they are not always for criminal activity. In fact, fewer individuals use them for criminal purposes and more use them as a way to save money.

By having an offshore account, an individual usually pretends that that money does not exist. It is not in a domestic bank account, so they don?t really have to think about it until tax time rolls around. They don?t think about it until tax time because taxes do have to be paid on that money. Thinking that just a couple of thousand dollars isn’t going to gain attention from the government is naive thinking, because that is definitely enough money to warrant an investigation into possible tax evasion. Tax evasion is what we tend to hear about in the news next to drug dealers using offshore bank accounts.

Not just for criminals

So as you can see, an offshore bank account is not just for criminals. We only hear about criminals using these accounts because the news networks aren’t going to do a story on someone who has opened one of those accounts for honest reasons. You don?t have to be afraid that you’re going to be investigated for opening an account. These accounts are private. The only way that your account will be revealed is if you do use it to evade taxes. Otherwise your account will be left alone and no one has to know that you have one. You can keep it a secret if you wish because no one really needs to know your financial business if you don’t want them to.

Western companies use offshore accounts

There are some companies within Western countries that have found that having money in an offshore account proves beneficial to them. That means that not all of their money is in one place, but not in so many places that they can?t keep track of it. Some of these countries that these companies have accounts in are tax havens, which benefits both individuals and companies because they are sending their money to these tax havens. However, despite the tax advantages, it is still required by countries such as the United States that taxes are paid on the money. Still, there may be a bit of a tax benefit regardless of the fact taxes have to be paid on the money. The interest gained can be greater as well, which benefits both companies and individuals. That explains why companies choose to go with offshore bank accounts. That also keeps the account secret and out of the way of anyone within a company who would try to steal from them. In other words, a company investing its money in an offshore bank account is a company that will have a cushion to fall back on in case something happens to their domestic accounts.

Benefits

So now you see the benefits of having your own offshore bank account. Companies do it, tons of individuals do it, and, yes, the criminals do it. But remember that not everyone is a criminal and criminals only make up a very small percentage of those who open offshore bank accounts. Think of having an offshore account as a really great way for you to save for your future.

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