Wealthy Americans are running out of ways to hide their money. The IRS has been relentless in prying open the secret Swiss bank account—dozens of Swiss banks are cooperating with the agency. Just last month, a settlement with the private bank BSI revealed bankers used coded language and nameless credit cards to help Americans avoid taxes. Credit Suisse and UBS, Switzerland’s largest banks, have already paid fines for similar shenanigans.
The rest of the world is also getting less hospitable to American tax dodgers. A 2010 federal law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, requires all foreign banks to report to the IRS on their American customers. It’s working so well that Americans abroad say they’re having trouble opening bank accounts even for legitimate purposes. Banks don’t want the regulatory and paperwork hassle.
What’s left for the secretive and tax-averse American? Not much, accountants and attorneys say. Here are four ways the wealthy can still get secrecy or lower taxes—though rarely both at the same time.
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