The world of offshore investments and offshore banking has come under fire in recent months because a number of large businesses in the UK have been caught out avoiding tax. This has brought the argument about the existence of one rule for the rich, who were traditionally the users of offshore bank accounts and another rule for the poor. The truth is that there is nothing immoral about using an offshore bank account to maximise the return on your money, whether that is thanks to higher interest rates or because of lower or no taxes.
There is only ever a problem when people who invest their money in offshore accounts lack morals and integrity. A tax haven is a legitimate way to increase your wealth or protect the funds you have from tax authorities. There is only a moral issue when people who use tax havens, also take advantage of the benefits afforded to those people who pay tax. In essence, there is only a problem if people fail to pay their taxes. You can still have an offshore bank account and benefit from the superior banking facilities, provided you declare your income and investments to the UK treasury when you complete a self-assessment each year.
The other option is to conduct your offshore banking without using the facilities provided by the government and this would immediately remove the obligation to pay taxes. Of course, you can still visit the UK and you would have as much right to do so as any other visitor. If you decided to stay for longer than the permitted 90 days per year (averaged over four years), then you would need to fill in a self assessment form and declare your earnings.
The vast majority of people who open offshore bank accounts have no intention of deceiving HMRC. In most cases, they have paid taxes all of their adult lives and there has never been any doubt about the quality of their character. The issue about morality only exists with those who try to conceal their offshore accounting activity. For most people with any sort of liquid wealth, there are so many legal loopholes and genuine tax breaks associated with locating funds in offshore accounts that there is no need to be underhand about the matter. That is why there is only a question of morality and not legality.
This is because people, who take advantage of the lack of taxation on offshore accounts, have no intention of using that money to live a life in the UK. Offshore accounts have attracted bad press, where it should have been attributed to the people and businesses who manipulate the system unfairly. There are several political stances to the issues of offshore havens, but none seem more correct than the other under close examination. Offshore accounts could be considered to be morally important if the benefits are realised by hard working people who have paid into the UK treasury throughout their life. When examined, it is plain to see that it would be immoral and possibly illegal for any government to lay claim to monies for which, no service has been given or requested.
Whichoffshore provides professional expatriate information on offshore estate planning, QROPS pensions and more, in order to help British expatriate make the most of their money. For more information, please visit – http://www.whichoffshore.com/