by Brian Mahany
It seems that more and more we are reporting on companies offering “bulletproof” asset protection products. Moving your assets offshore might beneficial for some but thinking that you can purchase complete protection from all creditors “for just one easy payment of $995” is crazy. We chuckled this morning when we received an ad that promises “the only Fullproof, Totally Confidential, Instant Asset Protection available in the world today.”
First, we aren’t sure what “fullproof” means although the term is in the Urban Dictionary. The ad doesn’t say but its clear the company thinks their Belize asset trust is the greatest asset protection product they have ever seen.
My recollection is that this ultimate praise comes from the same company that in October was telling folks that the greatest asset protection move ever was to set up an international business company (IBC) in emirate of Ras al-Khaimah (RAK).
There is a lesson in all this. One size-fits-all asset protection planning doesn’t work. And people that think they can use these “products” to evade the IRS have a warm prison cell waiting for them.
The term “totally confidential” has become a code word among some promoters suggesting that Uncle Sam or others can’t find out about your account. While an offshore program might be a great idea to protect you from vexatious litigation it doesn’t relieve your requirement to disclose ownership of foreign assets to the government. Fail to file an FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account) for instance and you could spend 5 years in prison.
These structures also don’t prevent asset tracing. Moving money leaves a trail unless you make lots of trips outside the country carrying less than $10,000 in cash each trip. The paper trail has been the downfall of many tax evaders.
We certainly aren’t trying to talk anyone out of legitimate offshore asset protection. We do suggest, however, that you be careful in where you get your information. While we have not checked out the totally fullproof instant asset protection program sent to us this morning, we urge caution in dealing with anyone making such claims. Especially since just 6 months ago they were promoting a different dream product.
We don’t endorse products or companies but we know several great lawyers out there that specialize in asset protection. If you don’t want or can’t afford the lawyer route, try Bobby Casey and his team at Global Wealth Protection.
We write these articles in large part to protect people from themselves. As lawyers that spend our days unwinding offshore trusts and digging people out of messes with the IRS, we know what works and what doesn’t.
The fraud and tax lawyers at Mahany & Ertl have helped many people with criminal tax investigations (tax evasion), unreported offshore accounts, FBARs and the OVDI offshore amnesty program. Our fraud lawyers have successfully helped many people get back their money from Ponzi schemes and fraudsters too. For a confidential consultation, contact attorney Brian Mahany at (direct) or by email at .
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Mahany & Ertl – America’s Tax and Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine & Minneapolis, Minnesota. Services available in many jurisdictions.