Home » Finance

Are Offshore Accounts Used as Money Laundering Vehicles?

Jun 28, 2008
An offshore bank account is an account at a bank located outside the United States or other country of residence of the banking client. These bank accounts are known for having low tax liabilities, thus making them also commonly known as tax havens. Offshore bank accounts also tend to provide financial and legal benefits. These benefits may include:

- less controlling legal regulation - little to no taxation - greater secrecy - easy access to funds - protection against local financial or political instability

Popular Offshore Banking Destinations

The most infamous and popular offshore banking centers in the global market are the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. Other well-known established destinations for offshore banking include the following (in alphabetical order):

Bahamas Barbados Belize Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cyprus Dominica Gibraltar Ghana Hong Kong Labuan, Malaysia Liechtenstein Luxembourg Malta Macau Mauritius Monaco Montserrat Nauru Panama Seychelles Turks and Caicos Islands

Bad Reputation

Because of the seemingly lax regulation of monies deposited in offshore bank accounts, offshore banking has gotten something of a bad rap over the last few years. These types of bank accounts have often been associated with tax evasion, money laundering and organized crime. Offshore banking has been erroneously linked to shady business practices and underground economy. Legally, however, this type of banking does not deem personal funds safe from being subject to income tax on earned interest. U.S. taxpayers are required to report (on penalty of perjury), any offshore bank accounts which may be in their possession. Offshore banking institutions are not obligated to declare any income to foreign tax authorities (A.K.A. the IRS) because they are protected by bank secrecy. This lack of regulation toward reporting suspected tax evaders does not make not reporting the income (or evading income tax associated with it) legal.

On the Other Hand

Proponents of offshore banking have condemned any efforts towards supervision and control. They claim the process is driven, not by safety and financial issues, but by the aspiration of local banks and the IRS to control the funds stored in offshore bank accounts. They refer to the alleged fact that offshore banking offers a competitive threat to the established banking and taxation systems in countries such as the U.S.

Tightening Regulations

Even for those hoping to find easy tax havens and money laundering shelters in offshore accounts will find that the old rules no longer apply. The regulation of offshore banking is improving in many ways. The regulation of these elusive banking institutions is increasingly monitored by supranational nongovernmental organizations such as the International Monetary Fund. Offshore banks are required to report at least quarterly on many different aspects of their business. The increased focus on anti-money laundering initiatives in several different countries signifies that bank employees at all levels are encouraged to report suspicion of money laundering to the local authorities despite bank secrecy. Additionally, there is increased cooperation between police authorities across international borders.

In Conclusion

Though offshore banking has traditionally been notorious for money laundering, tax evasion and for being a tool for organized crime, increased regulation is making those stigmas a thing of the past. There are many advantages of offshore banking, most of which are legal and perfectly honorable. The desire of local banks to control all funds originated in the U.S. and "get a piece of the pie" does not immediately translate to dishonest money laundering schemes.
About the Author
Offshore Investment Company can show you how an offshore mutal funds can benefit you. with offices in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Grand Cayman and London.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 110
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources