Questions: The job postings, tax implications, Asian banking, Switzerland, Belize

April 30, 2010
Las Vegas, NV

It’s chilly in Las Vegas, but I’m having a great time meeting so many subscribers here at the Casey conference; I’m pleased at how many have turned up for the event, and I’m always humbled by the exceptional people we have in our community.

My only regret is that the conference organizers could not allocate more space for Sovereign Man readers, and I will personally ensure this doesn’t happen next time.

As I need to get going shortly to mingle with all the incoming attendees, let’s jump right in to this week’s questions:

First, a question that I have been asked hundreds of times over the last two months– “Simon, several weeks ago you posted two job openings on your website for people who were interested in working with you. What is the status of those positions?”

We recently filled both of the positions. It was one of the more difficult business decisions that I’ve had to make given the quality and number of applications that we received. We may be hiring again soon, and I will post that to the website as well if/when the time comes.

Second, Dana asks, “Dear Simon, if I trade US/Canadian financial markets from my home in Ecuador, would the government of Ecuador expect me to pay taxes on that income?”

No, especially as a non-resident foreigner. It’s the same in several countries, like Panama. This is one of the reasons for taking a multiple flags approach– having citizenship of one country, tax residence in another, and spending time/owning property in another.

Next, Neil writes, “Simon- I’m an investor and US citizen with residency in Uruguay. I want to hold gold coins in Hong Kong or Singapore, but I have a question– will I be able to open a bank account in Asia so that I will be able to wire money to my account in Uruguay once I sell my gold?”

Even as a US citizen, you should not have any problems opening a personal bank account at any number of multinational banks in Asia… try HSBC or Standard Chartered Bank, both of which have US branches and are accustomed to dealing with the Treasury Department’s arcane regulations.

Once you have the account open, you shouldn’t have any problems wiring the proceeds to your Uruguayan account once you sell your gold. Just remember a couple of things-

1) Singapore charges GST (VAT) on gold sales;

2) Don’t forget to fill out TDF 90-22.1, report of foreign financial account, each year after you open the new bank account;

3) You will have to report the proceeds of your gold sales on your tax return if you turn a profit.

Next, Dave asks, “Simon- I am currently living in Treviso, Italy, and I’m considering moving to Switzerland. However, I haven’t seen any posts about living in or considering Switzerland. What’s your take on the country?”

I like Switzerland. For me, it’s as close to a perfect civilization as it gets in this world. The government is [relatively] hands off, the people are [relatively] intelligent and freedom loving, and the country is quite clean and modern.

On the downside, the weather is too cold for my taste, it’s unconscionably expensive, and the people are boring.

Despite what has happened with Switzerland’s banking privacy, I still think the country is worthy of a number of flags, including banking, residency, citizenship, and tax home. I’ll be spending time there this summer and will report more at that time.

Lastly, Ken asks, “Simon, you wrote about Joel Nagel’s upcoming asset protection conference in Belize yesterday. It sounds worthwhile… but aren’t you negative about Belize?”

To be clear, I have no issues with Belize as a banking jurisdiction. True, I personally do not like Belize as a place to spend much time, but I don’t expect everyone to share my tastes.

I know that there are many subscribers who are very interested in Belize, and Joel Nagel’s asset protection conference is probably the perfect opportunity to go check it out.

Why? Because Joel is one of the best international tax attorneys in the business, so you’ll learn everything you need to know about protecting your assets. Plus, you’ll be able to open a Belize bank account through his personal connections, and you’ll have plenty of time to spend exploring the country to see if you like it.

About the Author

Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter Notes from the Field is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom, make more money, keep more of it, and protect it all from bankrupt governments.