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Barclays Offshore Testimonial
How I moved my bank accounts Offshore and legally avoided paying tax
Barclays Offshore Bank ... review by Zyra.
I'm Zyra, and I run the website www.zyra.org.uk . When I first set up my online business I lived in the UK. But after a while the company was making quite a lot of money, and I realised that if I had stayed in the UK, I'd have been expected to pay 40% of the money to the UK government to help them to fund their spendthrift ways. I decided it would be better if I were to leave the country and move to somewhere more tax efficient.
Along with my emigration to a tax haven, there was also the matter of moving my finances to a more efficient system. This is where the matter of Barclays Offshore comes in, because I needed to have bank accounts which could process the incoming payments and still be compatible with the tax-efficient solution. Barclays, that familiar bank we are accustomed to seeing the British highstreets, has bank branches offshore in such places as the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands , and although these places are British, they are not part of the UK, and not part of the European Union.
As such, it's entirely legit to set up bank accounts in these offshore havens and avoid paying tax. The offshore bank account service has additional advantages. For one thing, when you're a customer, you can phone in and ask questions and request things be done, and the folk there are quite happy to help. There's no "well you'll have to go into the branch", because the staff know that you are phoning in from somewhere distant and exotic.
Another thing, Barclays Isle of Man have recently (2012) introduced 24 hour phone lines. Besides being very handy anyway, it's also got considerable advantages because of the different timezones which customers might be in around the world. This makes good business sense.
It's possible to have bank accounts in different currencies, the most usual being Pounds Sterling, US Dollars, and Euros. I've found this works quite well.
Also, amazing as it may seem, it's possible to get cheques sent to the bank branch in Douglas, Isle of Man, and they'll get paid into your bank account. How about that?!
Now here's the question which many people want to know the answer to...
"Can I become tax-exempt by opening an offshore bank account?"
Sorry about this, but the answer is... not exactly. Just having an offshore bank account doesn't make your finances tax-exempt. However, the way to escape from tax is to acquire tax-exempt status by another means (such as emigrating), and then operate your finances using a set of offshore bank accounts. The order of things is:
1. Get a plan.
2. Open your bank accounts in advance.
3. Escape. (for example by emigration)
4. Operate your business offshore.
(Note that it's best to set up the bank accounts BEFORE emigrating).
There are various types of customers that qualify for an offshore bank account. Being quite well-off helps, but you don't have to be fabulously rich to qualify. Also, you need to have some sort of reason to be financially "offshore". There are various legitimate ways of doing this.
It's important to get a Tax Adviser! Although not cheap, I've found it's cheaper than paying tax.
I recommend Barclays Offshore for bank accounts that are run legitimately but without paying loads of British tax. If you are interested, it's worth applying.
A question that's sometimes asked is: How do you draw money out, to buy milk etc!? Here's what I recommend: Open your offshore bank accounts for international finances. Then, open a local bank account. For example HSBC is the world's local bank and has branches all around the world. As banks can easily transfer money from place to place at your request, it's relatively easy to move some money to your local vicinity, then draw out the money in cash, in the appropriate local currency. Then finally, you take some cash along to a shop and buy the milk etc, for cash, and thank the people in the local language.