A few weeks ago I received an email.

Someone had been researching his tax situation.

He figured out that he could get out of dodge by directing his salary to a “secure” private bank account. He then would wire it to his personal account back home, pretending that these were just savings.

I told him that he should not do it.

He came back with a more detailed explanation about what the goal was. He named some places were bank accounts are “secure” and asked if I otherwise “knew someone.”

I will show you what I replied in a moment.


But let me state that one of the reasons I decided to focus on international entrepreneurs and digital nomads is that these groups are actually mobile enough to use proper tax planning in the current regulatory environment.

You can live without paying taxes. But not if you live in a high-tax jurisdiction while setting up a company based on secrecy and expect it to be fine.

These days are over.

We’re on the road towards complete transparency the coming years.

Listen, I am not the police.

It is just how it is.




This is my reply:

“There is no such thing as a “secure” bank account. Bank secrecy is dead. This was the first thing I was made to understand when starting in offshore finance many years ago.

And since then, the OECD has been working on getting everybody signed up on automatic exchange of information AKA common reporting standard (CRS). This means that banks will automatically exchange your account information with the tax authorities of your country of residence (why do you think they ask for a utility bill?).

Almost all countries have signed up. Especially all financial centres. Swiss banks have kicked out a lot of their European clients, swept aside their constitution and will start exchanging information from 2017. Singapore has passed legislation to start exchanging information automatically in 2018.

Your proposed structure does NOT work. There is a big change it will bite you in the near future.

If you want to lower your taxes, move out of a high-tax jurisdictions as described.”


That’s it.




P.S. I didn’t even receive a thank you note. Usually, if you’re the first to break someone’s bubble they just blame you and look for reassurance elsewhere.