Can You Get Tax Benefits From an Offshore IBC?

A lot of companies are looking for any new tax benefits that will help them keep more of their revenue and assets. This has led to a lot of offshore banking and other activities that are intended to help companies protect their assets. Of course, when you start moving money offshore, it automatically carries a certain stigma of “tax evasion” with it. However, there is a definite distinction between tax evasion and tax planning – one is extraordinarily illegal, the other is just a good idea.

 An offshore IBC (International Business Corporation) allows companies to incorporate in a country where they don’t have to pay any local taxes (as long as the revenue was generated somewhere else). In fact, the way an IBC is set up in most countries, the company is not actually allowed to conducted business there and can only generate revenue internationally. There will usually be some kind of annual franchise tax for corporation renewal, but it is usually only around $300 dollars. Everything else will be free from taxation in that country.

Other Benefits

Along with the tax benefits, there are some other advantages to starting an offshore IBC. Depending on the country where the company incorporates, there will be some different rules and regulations that will help companies get the most out of their banking. For example: if you incorporate in a country like Panama, you won’t have to deal with currency restrictions or to go all the way to the country to incorporate the company. There is no requirement to file reports on offshore activities and shareholder identities are strictly private.

Companies that are involved with international markets can benefit a great deal from incorporating in one of these countries. Asset protection is extremely important in the modern business world, and if you speak with tax professionals you can find out if this is the right option for your company.

Tax Benefits Vs Tax Evasion

No matter where you set up your international business, it will be hard to get past that stigma of tax evasion. So how do you know if your move offshore is really legal or not?

I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers on this one, because there are a lot of mitigating factors that can change from place to place. The most important thing you can do is speak to a tax professional who knows all the local tax laws as well as the laws in the country of incorporation. In basic terms, though, if you are hiding your money in any way (which can include simply not reporting it), you are probably doing something wrong. If, on the other hand, you are incorporating offshore because that is the easiest way to handle your international trade, you’re probably okay.

Tiffany Miller is a financial writer from Salt Lake City, UT. Her specialties include tax law and personal finance. She works closely with lawyers in Panama who help Americans create an offshore IBC.
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10 Practical Habits To Save Money Daily

Guest post by : - Ally Tobias

It's hard enough to make ends meet. Yet with the proper planning and a bit of adjustment to your lifestyle, it’s possible to set aside a small amount on a daily basis.

Living a frugal life is the key to helping you save your money. Being frugal doesn’t mean depriving yourself of the things you enjoy. Rather, you make yourself pick wiser choices, and pick alternatives that are cheaper and easily accessible. This helps you save money.

There’s no clear-cut formula to saving money. Financial experts can suggest different ways where you can cut down on your spending, but ultimately it will be up to you. Every little bit helps. Every extra penny you can set aside for your savings will contribute to a bigger amount as time goes by.

Here are ten practical habits you can start doing to help you save money.

1. Make a budget. A budget gives you a lump sum that you can work with for your daily expenses. Your budget is basically everything that you will spend, minus your savings and payment for utilities. To set a budget, take your gross earnings per month. Subtract what you spend for utilities (round it off to the nearest whole number) and your savings. Divide what’s left for various things: daily expenses, a “fun” fund (to use for outings or splurges). You can even set a daily budget, or how much can you spend in one day. Include things like food and gas.

2. At the end of the day, save your change. This may sound odd, but consider this: the loose change you have on a daily basis may total up to a couple of hundred dollars. Try this out. Set a daily budget for yourself. If, at the end of the day, you have some left over, put that in a jar or a bottle. That means you won’t be carrying over any money from the previous day to today. Do this for a month, and at the end of it, total amount you’ve saved and deposit it to your savings account. You’ll be a few hundred bucks richer, guaranteed.

3. Plan major expenses and safe up for it. Remember how when you were a kid you set aside every penny for something that you wanted? Nowadays, people have no qualms in swiping their credit cards to get the latest gadgets or pay for a trip. Along with the charges and the interest rates, this can cost you hundreds of dollars. By deciding what you want to get and saving up for it, you remove the extra expenses. Plus, you can even shop for discounts or better bargains.

4. Buy quality products. Brand names are often worth the purchase because of its guaranteed quality and durability. However, it doesn’t mean you have to always purchase brand names to get good quality products. Many great quality products cost even less than brand names. Get a product that you know you will continuously use, rather than buying an item on sale and not use it at all. Look at the craftsmanship; check the materials and ingredients used. Always pick quality and comfort over everything else and you’ll find that you’re able to stretch your buck far more than you can when buying cheap products.

5. Consider D.I.Y. Need some repairs done at home? Before you call the handyman, see if it’s something you can fix yourself. There are some things that would be best left to professionals, but little things like doing a small paint job or fixing a leaky faucet are things you can do. It’s easy enough to find the solution these days with the help of the Internet. When you’re confident with your skills, tackle these repairs and save yourself off a couple of dollars.

6. Prepare your own meals. Are you one of those people who do not prepare your own meals, but instead eat out every time? You are spending extra and you're not maximizing the health benefits of the food you are eating. Sure you can go to restaurants that serve healthy meals, but to cut back on your expenses, opt to buy your own organic goods at markets and prepare simple but healthy meals. With the increasing number of organic farmers, the prices for their produce are going down so it’s easier to buy. It’s also easy to search for recipes online or experiment on your own. As a bonus, you can pack the leftovers (well, if there would be any) and bring them for your lunch to work the next day.

7. Use the library. We all love to buy the latest bestseller for a good read, or go out for a movie to relax after a hectic day. Yet with the soaring prices of books and movie tickets, it doesn’t sound practical right? No worries, you can still enjoy these by visiting the library. Books and other reading material aren’t the only things you can be check out of the library. You can borrow DVDs as well. Most library memberships are free, and the rental costs of DVDs are smaller than the ticket price. Granted they may not be the latest releases, but it’s a very viable alternative, especially for a family night get-together.

8. Don’t chuck the luxury, but look for alternatives. As mentioned, living frugally doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you enjoy. Instead, you find alternatives for these things that cost less. For example, are you always getting a designer coffee every day before heading off to work? Try to locate a small, local cafĂ© where you can get your daily caffeine fix. It costs less, and you’re even contributing to the local economy. The money that you save can be set aside for your savings. Alternatively, you can use it to set up a fund for the real splurges, like maybe a trip out of the country or that gadget you always wanted to buy.

9. Take better care of your things. It’s easy enough to be careless about the things we buy because we know that it’s easy to purchase replacement items or get them repaired. Yet the costs, not to mention the amount of used items, can pile up. Taking better care of your belongings stretches its value.

10. Go green. The call to live green is getting stronger these days. People are more conscious of their choices and how it affects the environment. Manufacturers are finding ways to efficiently make their products eco-friendly by choosing resources that are easily renewable, as well as minimizing packaging. Even appliances are going green, as more and more gadgets are becoming less energy hogs. Changing your lifestyle to leave a smaller carbon footprint also helps.

Building the habit of saving money helps you in the long run. You become a better manager of your finances, and you’ll find that you are able to keep your debt down because you are spending less than what you earn. This allows you set aside enough for bigger purchases, and you become wiser with the choices that you make.

Ally is part of the team that manages Home Loan Finder, a free home equity loan and variable home loans comparison service in Australia. Before joining HLF, she was a Media Planner with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi's 501 "Live Unbuttoned" global campaign.
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Tired of Living Paycheck to Paycheck? Learn the Tricks that Financiers Know

Guest post by : Margo Smith

Tired of Living Paycheck to Paycheck? Learn the Tricks that Financiers Know Let’s start out with the most basic rule of finances: do not spend as much as you make. I know, you’re thinking “as if I can even live on what I make….” It is possible, however to live on less than you make, it just requires some tweaking and adjusting. So clear the slate of all you think you need. Start fresh and determine what bills and expenses represent items you absolutely can’t live without. Now go through your list again and weed some more out. If Starbucks is on your list but you are heavily in debt, could you take coffee from home and save yourself $100 dollars or more every month? Think how much faster you can pay down your bills with a hundred extra bucks.

So now you have your basic expenses. If you are like most people, these are the things you budget for:

1. Housing Costs
2. Utilities
3. Insurance
4. Groceries/Dining Out
5. Transportation
6. Medical Payments/Co-pays
7. Fees for Education
8. Loan Payments
9. Credit Card Bills
10. Clothes
11. Personal Care Objects/Necessities
12. Entertainment

One category that, unfortunately, is not on most folks’ lists is a savings account. In these turbulent financial times it is risky to go without any backup plan. If you are not in the habit, you can ease yourself into it gradually. Start with just $5 per month, and then gradually move up to $10 per month. At the rate of $5/month you save $60 each year, obviously tucking $10 away in savings or risk-free cd’s will net you $120 at the end of the year. Now that may not seem like much, but it might be the amount that pulls you out of the hole at some point. Just go without that drink at the gas station or brown bag it rather than stopping at In-n-Out and you’ll be able to do this. Soon you’ll be up to saving $240 and then $500 each year. Those impulse buys, which tend to be unnecessary or, if food, unhealthy, will hardly be missed and you’ll sleep better at night knowing you haven’t spent every cent before it is earned.

You can locate example of budget spreadsheets online – all for no cost. Tailor the headings to reflect your household expenses and put it to work for you. When you budget your money and stick to your plan, your money can work for you just as hard as you work for your money.

It is a true maxim that nothing in life is free. Everything has a price tag of money, time, sweat or effort. When you decide to stick to your budget it will yield peace of mind as well as no necessity for collection agencies to hound you. As you begin to live on less than you make, you may miss your night at the movies, but you’ll notice you can sleep better at night because your credit is not taking over your life. Don’t model your spending after those who spend willy-nilly even when the cash stash is not there. Cut back slowly but consistently and learn to live within your means. Budgets – under (not over) spending – self-control: these are the tips the experts know that start them on their way to fiscal fitness and financial joy.

Margo Smith graduated with a B.S. degree from BYU. She loves to blog about all kinds of subjects from technological advances to online classes to great books for kids. She draws from her own education, her years in college and an author’s perspective on life when researching her posts.
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Claiming Compensation From Osborne?

Guest post by : - Allan

Someone claim personal injury compensation from Chancellor George Osborne – please!  As a result of his budget, some things are clear:  if you are in what’s been termed the “squeezed middle”, you are going to be shafted!    Ed Milliband floundered a bit with his definition of that term, eventually deciding it was anyone earning less than £100,000 a year.  A far more helpful interpretation of the phase is simply “anyone in work who is not earning enough to take advantage of the range of opportunities provided by private markets, but is too “rich” to qualify for almost any form of benefit or state support aside from those welfare payments that all income groups are entitled to”.   Sound familiar?

Anyway, he is apparently going to appeal to us “squeezies” by announcing help for first-time buyers, motorists and 25 million income tax payers.   Some may argue that the budget, like the government, has its roots in the playing fields of Eton and is in fact  designed to shift the balance even further towards the wealthy elite who co-incidentally also seem to finance the Conservative party or could potentially profit from some of the measures announced.

OK, so 1 penny a litre is coming off petrol and there will be some inheritance tax breaks provided you give a chunk to "charitee",  but let’s look at raising the income tax personal allowance by £600 so that, as from April 2012, we’ll all be £45 a year better off!  Before you start planning street parties and practice your forelock tugging in gratitude, remember that Osborne's tax increases, particularly on VAT and the impending National Insurance increase, costs the average household more than these tax cuts will ever save!   VAT is much more significant for less well-off households than income tax.  They may not earn as much, but they still have to buy the same amount of stuff as their better off peers.   The poorest 20% of households pay almost 30% of their income in indirect tax, of which VAT is the single biggest chunk.

Next:  the support for first time buyers. These unfortunate youngsters (and not so young) earning  less than £60,000 a year may shortly only be required to scrape together  a 5% deposit and be offered an extra government backed  20% loan at low  interest rates for five years .  In this way, they can meet the credit-crunched requirements of most lenders willing only to finance up to 75% LTV on any property.  While this might restore affordability it will bolster current house prices and many suggest it would be better to allow them to fall to more realistic and affordable levels rather than intervene in this manner.

Aside from saddling first time buyers with even more short term debt, it will do nothing to reduce the UK's dependence on the housing bubble that has produced three booms and busts in the last 40 years.  This measure is nothing more than taxpayer’s money being siphoned off into the pockets of banks and property developers, thinly disguised as help for first time buyers.  Is that a coincidence?  Property tycoons and businessmen do seem to feature quite highly in the donations register of Tory MPs and many of our members of parliament across the board seem to have, in some cases quite substantial, buy-to-let portfolios.

Most people may be familiar with the fact that compensation is available as a result of sustaining a personal injury that was not your fault – and the pain most of the “squeezed middle” will have to endure is most definitely not their fault!    It’s the property spivs and the banks with their Whitehall and Westminster accomplices who are the perpetrators here.  So someone check out which online firm will take a claim on board on a no win no fee basis. It’s entirely possible to find a principled and competent personal injury solicitor online.   The term personal injury can cover a physical or psychological injury, disease or illness resulting in financial loss.   A psychological illness caused by the stress of dealing with the measures unveiled in the budget would, I think make a very compelling case!

The "squeezed middle"  author, Allan Bisset, works with a company that offers personal injury and compensation claims advice.
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Comparing Debt Consolidation Loans

Rough economical times have caused many people to turn to debt consolidation loans. These types of loans are especially desired as a form of credit card debt assistance . While everyone knows it is not wise to pay for everyday living expenses with a credit card, many people still do, causing them to become overwhelmed with credit card debt. The best way to address this type of problem is to turn to a secured or unsecured debt consolidation loan.

 Unsecured Consolidation Loans

Unsecured debt consolidation loans are usually ideal for those debtors with a minimal amount of debt. This type of loan does not require any type of collateral, making it difficult for some people to obtain this type of loan. Since there is no collateral associated with this type of loan, most loans will have high interest rates; however, these interest rates are generally less than credit card rates.

Many times, unsecured debt consolidation loans can be obtained with either a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate. For those debtors that prefer a predetermined monthly repayment amount, a fixed interest rate is the best type of rate to obtain.

Secured Consolidation Loans

Many times, if a debtor cannot obtain an unsecured consolidation loan, they will still have the option to obtain a secured loan. This type of loan requires some type of collateral, which many times will be accepted as equity in one’s home.
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