An Offshore Banking Option for Tax Beleaguered Businesses

Offshore Banking for BusinessesThe present atmosphere for business in the U.S. can be daunting. Under the current administration, the U.S. now has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Small businesses, many of which are Subchapter – S Corporations or Limited Liability Companies (LLC), are being categorized as members of the “1%”. i.e., “the rich” – and are being demonized accordingly, with confiscatory tax policies being targeted at them.

While it is not legal to hide income or not pay rightfully obligatory taxes, there are a number of strategies and methods that a small corporation or LLC can undertake to help it manage its cash flow, asset protection, and tax burdens. One of the ways to assist this task is in the use of offshore bank accounts in tax haven sovereign domiciles. While Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland may not be easily accessible to many and the Cayman Islands have fallen into disfavor, there are other alternatives worth considering. One such alternative is Belize.

Belize is Ideal for International Banking

As the former British Honduras, Belize has a long track record of national stability and is also an attractive tourist locale, with beaches, hotels, Mayan ruins and diverse ecosystems, where exotic land and marine life can be observed regularly. Fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, and other activities are all routinely sought by many visitors in Belize. The official language is English, and it lies geographically near Mexico and Guatemala, which puts Belize within North American time zones.

Banking Advantages

There are a number of advantages to offshore banking in Belize. Belize operates under British influenced banking laws. Taxes are relatively low, and in accordance with current treaty, U.S. taxation laws only apply to funds repatriated into the U.S. As a former British Sovereign territory, Belize’s banking stability has remained intact, and affords some advantages that can be obtained through Belize corporations.

These corporations can utilize British tax havens, such as Isle of Man or Jersey, without the need for the owners to have to directly deal with nominating local representatives, and other requirements while utilizing some of the privacy features that may be desirable. While this does not hold for other currencies like the Euro or Yen, the Belize Dollar (BZD) is pegged to the US Dollar at a 2:1 ratio, so there are no currency control concerns for any U.S. based investors looking into offshore banking in Belize.

The Wall Street Journal recently cited that renunciation of U.S. citizenship since 2008 has increased nearly 900%, and the IRS has been listed as one of the primary factors for this exodus. The White House’s current tax policies have discouraged foreign investment into the U.S. and prudent U.S. businesses need to look for other options if they are to survive. Relocating banking in domiciles like Belize may be a solution for some that is less drastic that citizenship renunciation.

About this author

Caye International Bank Limited (CIBL) was granted an Unrestricted "A" Class International Banking License on September 29th, 2003 by the Central Bank of Belize and is regulated by the Central Bank of Belize which set the standards for liquidity and capital adequacy.