Avoiding U.S. taxes by hiding your assets is illegal. Last month, Switzerland’s oldest bank pled guilty to a criminal conspiracy charge for helping wealthy Americans avoid taxes by hiding their assets in secret accounts.
Wegelin & Co., founded in 1741, is the first Swiss bank to plead guilty to a criminal charge in the on-going U.S. investigation of secret offshore accounts. The bank plans to close once this criminal case wraps up.
Asset protection essentially involves protecting your assets while keeping them in plain sight. There may be privacy considerations; but asset protection should never be designed to unlawfully avoid taxes. Offshore accounts can be appropriate and very beneficial for many Americans – – if they are opened, operated and titled properly.