At the start of a New Year, tax is probably the last thing on your mind, after the Christmas and New Year blowout, finances are tight and disposable income is at an all time low for most people. It doesn’t have to be like that however, why not make like a celebrity and move all your finances to an offshore account, set up home in a tax havenand spent the rest of your days smoking Cuban cigars and wearing Hawaiian shirts? Of course it’s not that easy, and there are several barriers for entry to consider, in most cases getting richer is an option available only to those who are already rich, but there are ways that normal people can enjoy the benefits of a tax haven.
Here are a few countries you probably didn’t know were tax havens.
It’s not just isolated islands populated with ex-cons that are classed has tax havens, the popular holiday destination of Cyprus can also stake a claim as a tax haven, at least in theory. The things that make Cyprus such a popular holiday destination – the warm year round weather, fascinating culture, rich history and great beaches – also attract those looking for a different kind of break – a tax break.
Buying property here, whether its to live in permanently, as a holiday home, or simply for an investment since tax charged to non-Cypriots is low at between 10 and 15 percent. The real winners when it comes to Cyprus however are old age pensioners, since pensions when living here are no longer taxable in the UK – the perfect retirement home then.
Panama is located in central American, between Costa Rica and Colombia and is perhaps most famed for the Panama Canal, and area through which commercial cruise ships can now pass. Unsurprisingly given its tax haven status (everyone is completely exempt from tax here), it is an economically developed country and the fastest growing economy in Central America.
It’s little secret that David Cameron’s (UK Prime Minister) father held offshore accounts in Panama, established in the early 1980s, amounting millions of pounds, some of which was left to David Cameron, creating controversy due to his criticisms of companies and that avoid income tax.
Possibly one of the most idyllic island groups in the world, the Seychelles is up there with the Maldives and Mauritius when it comes to perfect beaches, sunshine and blue sea. For non-residents in the Seychelles, there is no corporation tax for businesses based here making it an attractive location for an investment as well as a holiday.
Switzerland is possibly the best known tax haven in the world, and a country that certainly sets itself apart from the rest of Europe with its own currency, neutral stance and very stable political system. It’s no secret that the country attracts many wealthy business, companies people and celebrities as it has a policy of bank secrecy. This scenic mid-European enclave is also an excellent place to take a holiday, with beautiful green rolling hills, quaint Sound of Music-like log cabins, and ultra-clean, modern cities with the snow-clad Alps as a backdrop.