Taxes

Update from Puerto Rico: People are running out of cash, ATMs aren’t working and groups of looters are posing as police

My friend Adam (not his real name) lives in Puerto Rico and sent me a startling update…

Adam and his family evacuated the island for the hurricane, but he’s been in close contact with his friends who stayed on the ground.

And the situation is bad.

According to his contacts on the ground, people in Puerto Rico are running out of cash. And ATMs aren’t working.

That’s[...] Click here to continue reading

Where there’s [almost] “blood in the streets” in America today…

In the spring of 1871 after a miserable defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, Paris plunged into a major crisis as local citizens revolted against the government.

Financial markets went berserk as a result, and the prices of French government bonds plummeted.

There’s an old story that an heir to a large fortune came calling to the offices of the Rothschild banking family looking for investment advice.

According to accounts republished several[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s what happened when they raised taxes 2,000+ years ago

In 353 BC, as violent class warfare broke out across ancient Greece, one wealthy Athenian lamented in his journal,
When I was a boy, wealth was regarded as a thing so...admirable that almost everyone affected to own more property than he actually possessed. Now a man has to be ready to defend himself against being rich as if it were the worst of crimes.
Ancient Greece had become deeply divided at that point.

The[...] Click here to continue reading

Take advantage of this free insurance policy for your savings

This is the very first article I’m writing to you on the brand new Macbook Pro that I just purchased here in Hong Kong.

It’s the fully loaded version with 16GB of RAM, a 1 TB SSD hard drive, and 3.5 GHz i7 processor.

Given that I actually run Linux on may laptop and barely do anything outside of word processing a bit of programming, the purchase was probably overkill. But I got[...] Click here to continue reading

New Poll: Record number of Americans want MORE government in their lives

In a poll conducted a few days ago by NBC News / Wall Street Journal, a record 57% of Americans responded that they want MORE government in their lives, and that the government should be doing more to solve people’s problems.

That’s the highest percentage since they started asking this question in 1995.

In fact, 57% is nearly double what people responded in the mid-90s.

Furthermore, the number of Americans who feel[...] Click here to continue reading

Don’t hold your breath for any comprehensive tax reform. But here’s something you can do now

On October 22, 1986, the world was an entirely different place.

The Soviet Union still loomed, as did the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Most people had no idea how to use a computer, let alone even heard of the “Internet” (which at the time was still a military communications project.)

Hardly anyone had ever seen a cell phone. And with a $4,000 price tag, even fewer people owned one.

Microsoft stock[...] Click here to continue reading

How to cut your taxes no matter what your situation

On the plane ride back to Chile last night, I was sitting next to a particularly chatty woman who wanted to know my whole life story and what I was doing in Mexico.

I played along and explained to her that I had been on a cruise for the past week speaking at an investment conference.

“Oooooooh,” she said, and then inquired what I had been speaking about.

That’s when the conversation[...] Click here to continue reading

You can’t rely on Social Security. Do this instead

In the late in the 5th century BC, the government of ancient Rome came up with a new idea that has lasted for thousands of years.

I’m not talking about their roads, republican form of government, or water sanitation.

Their bold idea was to start paying retirement benefits to Roman soldiers.

This was a pretty big deal. In ancient times, you worked until you died. There was no such thing as retirement.
[...] Click here to continue reading

How I made an extra 15% by buying this stock on a foreign exchange

September 2, 2015
Vienna, Austria

Recently I wrote to you explaining why I’d just purchased shares of Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell is a giant in the oil industry that’s been in businesses for more than a century. And while I almost never buy stocks, they were practically giving this one away.

When I bought Shell, the shares were trading for less than the company’s net tangible asset value.

In other words,[...] Click here to continue reading

I believe we have a moral obligation to starve the beast.

On August 5, 1861, facing rapidly deteriorating economic conditions and a horrible defeat at Bull Run, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1861 into law.

It was the first time in US history that the federal government would charge an income tax on its citizens. But Lincoln felt that it was vital to fund what would become one of the most unconscionably costly conflicts in US history.

The original law in[...] Click here to continue reading

US government was more forgiving of the Nazis than its own citizens

April 14, 2015
Santiago, Chile

70 years ago, the United States of America had just emerged from World War II as the most dominant superpower in the world.

At that point America’s economy was the only one left standing.

And the US government had essentially dictated terms in establishing a new global financial system (known as the Bretton Woods agreement).

Doing so thrust the dollar at the center of world trade[...] Click here to continue reading

Australia wants to tax bank deposits. Does anyone think the US won’t?

April 1, 2015
Santiago, Chile

Several months ago, the government of Australia proposed to tax bank deposits up to $250,000 at a rate of 0.05% (5 basis points).

Their idea was for the money to be invested in a rainy day Financial Stabilization Fund to insure against in the unlikely event of a banking crisis… or all-out collapse.

And as of this morning, it looks like the levy might just pass and[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s how Shakespeare structured his assets to minimize taxes (brilliant!)

March 17, 2015
Santiago, Chile

William Shakespeare was definitely not one for following the rules.

The playwright was famed for the ways in which he bent the English language in unusual ways to create some of the most significant literary works to date.

It was part of his genius, really, in that he didn’t allow himself to be limited by things like syntax rules that others abided by.

And, it seems,[...] Click here to continue reading

How you can move to Puerto Rico and pay almost zero tax [free guide]

March 9, 2015
San Juan, Puerto Rico

[Editor’s note: At the end of the article you’ll find a link to a free report we’ve put together on this important topic.]

It seems almost everywhere you look these days, bankrupt governments are raising taxes.

But no matter where you are, there are always solutions to do something about it.

For example, if you’re an Australian taxpayer, you can move to Norfolk Island[...] Click here to continue reading

Steve Jobs held billions of dollars offshore. Was he ‘unpatriotic’ ?

February 24, 2015
Singapore

At the end of September 2011, just days before his passing, the company that Steve Jobs founded had a $25 billion cash hoard. Nearly half of this was stashed overseas.

What’s more, Apple was running billions in profit through multiple Irish subsidiaries, neither of which were taxable by the US government.

Steve Jobs departed this life owning 5.5 million shares of Apple (and another 138 million shares of[...] Click here to continue reading

Surreal: IRS apologizes for seizing bank accounts

February 12, 2015
Puerto Varas, Chile

Twenty-seven years ago at the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans, George H. W. Bush accepted his party's nomination to run for President of the United States.

(This was when he announced Dan Quayle as his running mate, to which Senator John McCain later remarked "I can't believe a guy that handsome wouldn't have some impact.")

In his acceptance speech, the elder Bush famously told[...] Click here to continue reading

How you can avoid dying as property of the state

January 30, 2015
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

The Japanese are known for being great savers and for prioritizing family ties. So it’s particularly important for them to make sure that their savings get passed along to their children.

It’s part of human nature to want to pass along our knowledge and our wealth to our offspring so that they can have better lives.

Sadly for Japanese citizens, their government is a miserable[...] Click here to continue reading

Say goodbye to the nation state, this is how the new system will look

December 9, 2014
Santiago, Chile

In the moment after the musicians finished their last song, the silence was broken by the faint tune of someone singing “Mu isamaa on minu arm”.

The singers on stage quickly looked at each other nervously, but seeing strength in each other’s eyes they began to join in.

The year was 1969, and the Soviet leadership that held control over Estonia had banned this patriotic song. Singing[...] Click here to continue reading

This guy’s got some serious tax problems

November 26, 2014
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

I can't say I've known too many guys in my life named 'Boris' who were shy about standing up for themselves.

The name itself means 'wolf' in an extinct Turkic language.

And if the current mayor of London Boris Johnson is going go to toe to toe with the IRS as he has stated, I certainly hope the translation is accurate.

Mayor Johnson is[...] Click here to continue reading

Americans: This is how free you really are.

April15
April 15, 2014
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

Among all the great stories and conversations passed down from the ages, probably my favorite is one from the ancient historian Lucius Cassius Dio about Roman emperor Caracalla.

Caracalla ruled in the second century AD, and he was notorious for bankrupting the Roman treasury and waging costly, unnecessary wars.

Dio tells us that Caracalla made "one excuse after another and one war after another;[...] Click here to continue reading

If it’s such a privilege, why do they have to stick a gun in your face?

IRS
April 12, 2014
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Two. Billion. Hours.

That's how much time people in the Land of the Free waste each year preparing and filing their tax forms to the IRS-- roughly 13 hours for each of the ~150 million individual returns filed.

And if you're doing your own taxes this weekend, it may certainly seem like you've spent that 2 billion hours yourself just preparing your 1040.

To put[...] Click here to continue reading

IRS slams Bitcoin millionaires with new tax rules… Is gold next?

March 26, 2014
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

Bitcoin tax rules finally came to the Land of the Free yesterday. And I have to imagine there are some not-too-happy campers this morning, if they even know about it.

Bitcoin taxes were inevitable. I've written about this numerous times, and have even gone so far as to predict that the government will probably mandate special Bitcoin reporting on foreign disclosure forms.

A number of[...] Click here to continue reading

Totalitarian government at work

February 13, 2014
Santiago, Chile

The IRS scandal caused a massive uproar last year when it was revealed that the agency was deliberately targeting non-profit political groups solely based on their names or political themes.

One of those groups was called True the Vote, a grassroots, non-partisan organization that recruits and trains volunteers to monitor elections.

The founder and president of True the Vote, Catherine Engelbrecht, recently gave testimony to the House[...] Click here to continue reading

Check out the IRS’s stunning admission of its own mafia tactics

IRS
January 13, 2014
Santiago, Chile

In the 3rd century AD, Emperor Caracalla famously remarked of Rome’s tax policy:

“For as long as we have this,” pointing to his sword, “we shall not run out of money.” (Of course, Rome did run out of money. )

At the time, Roman taxation was so extractive that it drove people into poverty and desperation. Yet the government continued to forcibly plunder wealth at the point[...] Click here to continue reading

You and I would go to jail for this…

Trust Fund Theft
November 6, 2013
Bangkok, Thailand

Last week, the US Treasury Department released a statement amid great fanfare and triumph, that the federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2013 was 'only' $680 billion.

Yes, the sad state of affairs today is that a deficit of 'only' $680 billion is actually considered good news.

Now, I've spent a lot of time over the last week diving into the numbers to figure out the real[...] Click here to continue reading

IRS sets ‘inflation’ rate at 1.6%…

October 31, 2013
Sydney, Australia

Hot off the presses, the IRS just issued a notice of its annual inflation adjustments for the 2014 tax year.

According to the release, the inflation adjustment is 1.6%.

So now, for example, couples earning more than $457,600 will fall in the 39.6% marginal tax bracket, as opposed to $450,000 last year.

A single individual earning under $9,075 will fall in the 10% bracket,[...] Click here to continue reading

You won’t believe what the French are taxing now…

October 22, 2013
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

At our workshop in Chile some months ago, European MEP Nigel Farage blasted French President Francois Hollande as leading the pack "in the modern day Pantheon of idiots who are running countries around the world..."

You can see Nigel's scathing remarks below, about 35 seconds in to the clip:



Of course, the French president had recently introduced a 'hate tax' on its[...] Click here to continue reading

Four important estate planning steps you should consider

EstatePlan
September 25, 2013
Sovereign Valley Farm, Pencahue, Chile

It goes without saying that parents want the best for their children... and that each generation wishes the next to be even more prosperous and successful.

For the most part, this has been the historical pattern since the Industrial Revolution; every successive generation has enjoyed an almost uninterrupted rise in standard of living, made possible both by the development of new technologies and the passing[...] Click here to continue reading

The Italian government really screwed this poor woman

August 26, 2013
Spoleto, Italy

The Villa where I've been staying for the last week is one of my favorite spots in the world.

When I first found it nearly two years ago, I couldn't believe it. The home is exquisite-- it's a 14-bedroom chateau situated on 25 acres of wine grapes and olive trees, and it's been in the same family for centuries.

Built hundreds of years ago by one of[...] Click here to continue reading

Friday humor: US Senate shows it has its priorities straight…

Market Place Fairness
May 17, 2013
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Well, you have to admit one thing-- the United States Senate certainly has its priorities straight.

Early last week they passed S.743, the Marketplace Fairness Act. This bill requires US-based online merchants to charge, collect, report, and pay sales tax to the roughly 9,646 jurisdictions within the Land of the Free which levy such a tax.

And while grounded in well-intended socialist dogma as a means to[...] Click here to continue reading

Check this out– IRS scandal is just the tip of the iceberg…

IRS
May 14, 2013
Manila, Philippines

Some days one can't help but look at the headlines and think of Ayn Rand.

With all the destructive measures by desperate governments from Cyprus to Argentina, it seems sometimes like we're reading from the pages of her seminal work, Atlas Shrugged.

But what we're seeing now seems to have far surpassed Atlas Shrugged. We're definitely into 1984 territory.

We've recently learned that the US[...] Click here to continue reading

US government wants six-year olds to shoulder the Social Security shortfall

No Social Security For You
Reporting from Santiago, Chile

In 1729, that Jonathan Swift (of Gulliver's Travels fame) penned a famous satirical essay from England entitled "A Modest Proposal." It's still famous to this day as mandatory reading in many a high school literature class.

As you may recall, Swift addresses the problem of the ultra-depressed Irish economy and mockingly advocates that the Irish should sell their children for rich Englishmen to eat. Lovely thought.

I thought[...] Click here to continue reading

This new law will ensure you pay more for online purchases…

Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013
Reporting from Santiago, Chile

In another brilliant move aimed at destroying the few table scraps of economic freedom which remain in the Land of the Free, a bipartisan group of esteemed lawmakers in the United States Congress has introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.

Remember the golden rule of legislation: the more noble the name of the law sounds, the more disastrous its results. This one is no exception.

Generally speaking[...] Click here to continue reading

Tell me again… which of these nations is communist?

Communism in America?
Reporting from: Santiago, Chile

Tax policy really tells you a lot about a government... what politicians' values and priorities are. People can SAY anything, but in a way, tax policy is putting their money where their mouths are.

For example, politicians like to talk about technology, efficiency and transparency. But just take a look at the tax code to see where they really stand. Estonia's Taxation Act of 2002, which form the preponderance[...] Click here to continue reading

US gov’t: failure to disclose foreign account is worse than possession of child porn

Enter scam artists
August 28, 2012
Spoleto, Italy

Jacques Wajsfelner of Weston, Massachusetts is a criminal mastermind. Big time. Like Lex Luthor. But rest easy, ladies and gentlemen, for this nefarious villain is about to face some serious jail time thanks to the courageous work of US government agents.

You see, Mr. Wajsfelner was finally caught and convicted of a most heinous crime: failing to disclose his foreign bank account to the US government. Note-- he was not convicted of tax[...] Click here to continue reading