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Had a chat with a high ranking public tax official last week who said that the age of secret offshore bank accounts is over - mass leaks resulting from bounties mean that any rogue employee with a USB of account information can get a 7 figure payout from major goverments. So where to now for high net worth people/families? I would absolutely be piling my wealth into anonymous cryptocurrencies - zcash, monero, and well tumbled bitcoin. People will always want to hide assets, and this is the most reliable way in an age of mass hacks and leaks. I'm really keen to hear any pushback on this, because I can't think of any.

All the information was always out there not hard to find. Actual safety does not come from hiding and encrypting what you are doing. Safety comes from having support by the right people. For instance if you are really rich and cheat the tax man there is no problem if the tax office and the news papers don't think about you. Nobody will look.

If you don't believe it just check out the cases that were brought to light. You will find that they are very obvious and not super secret. You will find that someone in a similar position but different company/government actually profits from this "discovery". And you will find that not all cases get punished, just this one case. (think 2008 here, where they literally jailed a single banker and that was it)

Hidden in plain sight, ignored by people who want or need you to succeed. That's how this game works.

No it's not. I can't believe the comments coming out the woodwork every time a thread reaches the front page trying to hype and build a case for bitcoin. It's unbelievable. The government and IRS have no problem going after people trying to hide large sums of money and there are far better ways than putting your money in something that's a wildly fluctuating gamble at this point.

They can renounce their citizenship to the United States and then use any one of a number of different countries to do their banking. Citizens of other countries aren't subjected to the same laws and banks aren't pressured to report on them due to US influence.

An example would be Lebanon. Everyone except US citizens gets pretty good banking privacy protections. Due to US pressure, Lebanon carved out an exception to those protections, just for US citizens. There aren't exceptions for any other countries, as far as I know.

As they are high net worth families, getting citizenship in a new country won't be difficult.

Can you spend most of your time in USA if you are not a citizen? Who wants to live in lebanon?

Visas are usually easy to get and there are counties other than the US and aren't Lebanon. Also, Lebanon isn't really all that terrible and you don't need to live there. You can be a citizen of Zimbabwe, if you want. The point is to not have the US government forcing disclosure, per the OP's question.

Roger Ver, who ironically for this thread is a crypto currency investor, renounced his US citizenship to avoid paying taxes and was repeatedly denied entry into the US afterwards. He will most likely never be able to visit his family in the US again.

This doesn't appear to be true.

> In 2015, he was denied a visa to reenter the United States by the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, which claimed that he had not sufficiently proven ties outside of the United States that would motivate him to leave at the end of his visit, causing fears he might become an illegal immigrant.[8][7][9] Later in the same year his visa was approved by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and he visited the United States in June 2016 to speak at a conference in Denver, Colorado.[10][6]

One good anecdote deserves another. One of my friends from my military days was jaded and renounced his citizenship. He was here to visit last winter. He spent about a month with us.

If you're rich enough, you can fly your family and friends out to any tropical paradise whenever you want. No need for you to visit the US unless you have a strong emotional attachment to some specific location.

if you are rich enough you can also just pay taxes and keep a passport that allows visafree travel mostly anywhere and not have to force people to fly to a different country to see you.

Its a fun thought experiment for sure but ultimately if you're at the level of wealth that running from the taxman gets you huge gains, either you have other problems (like being some sort of druglord) or you have enough money to also just pay taxes

Sure, if I had to choose between maintaining a complicated tax avoidance scheme for the rest of my life and just paying taxes, I would probably just pay my taxes and sleep easy.

But it seems that a lot of people disagree. Either you and I are massively underestimating the benefits of tax avoidance, or these people have some sort of knee-jerk reaction to the very concept of taxation that makes them try to avoid taxes even if it involves a lot of hassle. The latter would not be surprising for a diehard libertarian.

If you have enough money to pay a tax-hiding-specialist, then it's no longer a hassle, it's just another person you pay to take care of your stuff - perhaps analogous to a nanny or butler.

You are talking as if every country will accept you with open arms to become their citizen.

If you have that much money, pretty much every country in the world will take you. In many countries, they openly state that you can buy citizenship or resident status. The US will grant you LTR just for investing as little as $500,000. If you don't want to invest it into a business, you can put $1,000,000 into an American bank.

Other countries are much the same, only usually a bit less money. Canada, for example, will fast track you to LTR, and a path not naturalization, for just depositing $30,000 CAN.

Yeah, if you've got money, like the OP said, then you're going to be able to live pretty much anywhere you want. They use more polite legal language, but you can buy citizenship pretty easily. It's not even all that expensive, depending on where you want to live.

The problem is getting the money out. Two issues : fundamentally you suddenly have a large amount of unexplained wealth, if you imagine that state authorities will shrug, smile and nod good luck to you think again. It is possible to use the money as a supplement to a middle class lifestyle and to find ways to get it laundered, but the first tactic is disappointing for people who wanted hot and cold running champaign on their yacht, and the second is very expensive and risky. The second big issue is that no amount of tumbling is really going to launder bitcoin, yes, you mixed it up with other people's tokens, but $4m came into the tumbler and $3m left in your direction, no court will fall for this... Just as if you put $4m in a bank account and then walked away with $3m from a different account at the same bank, the money followed you.

I remember reading somewhere that Bitcoin isn't really anonymous. I think it was fundamental to how it works to have all transactions public and on the network.

Also, it seems like a bad idea to stash much of your wealth in a system is so vulnerable to theft. All it takes is for someone to have a momentary lapse in security or put a decimal in the wrong place or some other human error and then all that wealth is gone forever.

Split your holdings into 20 portions. Invest in a range of high quality currencies and for each holding have several portions each secured with a different method. Eg. have some on a hardware wallet, some with multisig paper wallets, some buried somewhere, some with family. Generally you won't lose any. If you do lose any you are pretty well hedged.

Pretty well hedged? Is that supposed to be easy for the average person? This just one of the many reasons Bitcoin isn't taken seriously for widespread adoption.

I think in the future instead of having a accountant/lawyer assisting with private/offshore banking, you will have a crypto security consultant showing you the best way to secure your own funds.

I think you're drinking a little too much from the kool-aid faucet. You're still going to need an accountant and lawyer, because you do live in the real, physical world.

>> Had a chat with a high ranking public tax official last week who said that the age of secret offshore bank accounts is over

....and what prompted the conversation : ) ?

The problem is that crypto can be good for a % of your illegal money, since it's relatively unproven. Any exchange that doesn't share the info will be taken down ala BTC-E (my bet is that IRS /FBI has their client list and transaction history already) so it's very very hard to spend /cash out.

If it gets our hand, of course then govts we'll declare war on cryptocurrencies

Pushback being a massive hack, hardfork, or massive devaluation? It is much easier to hide assets in plain sight imo.

This is ridiculous. If any of these crypto currencies became a significant way to hide wealth from the government, all the government has to do is make the crypto currency illegal to use or hold. If the US did this, it could easily pop the speculative bubble in crypto coins, and your wealth would vanish.

Good luck making it illegal to remember a 20-word string.

US was able to force FATCA on other countries, creating a similar law crypto will kill all crypto<->fiat exchanges that don't follow anti-money laundering laws.

I think you are spot on. Cryptocurrencies that fully obfuscate amounts sent, sources, and destinations, are perfectly ideal to hide assets. I think most people, even the tech crowd on HN, are unaware of their advanced capabilities.

If some of the most sophisticated operators were caught (vis-a-vis DPR (Silkroad)), why would "regular" families of wealth take a chance with crypto? I would humbly submit that regular tax evasion via LLC's, trusts and other holdings are much easier.

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