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[Here's an interesting file... however, be aware that it is based on info available in 8/93. The countries listed all have various forms of net connections We've deleted the specific info about internet access from the file since it has changed so considerably... if you have up-to- date info, please send it to us for posting. - staff]

From: Jim Hart
Subject: TAX HAVENS ON THE NET
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1993
compiled by James R. Hart

Aruba
* languages: Papiamento, English, Dutch, Spanish
* currency controls: none?
* bank secrecy: moderate (numbered accounts not permitted)
* preferred legal entities: Aruba Exempt Company, NV (Dutch legal tradition, bearer shares allowed)
* taxes: no income tax on AEC or shareholders, no witholding of any kind
* tax treaties: none?

Austria
* language: German
* currency controls: ??
* bank secrecy: good; numbered accounts available
* preferred legal entities: limited liability company, stock orporation
* taxes: corporate tax. no bank interest tax. 20% dividentax.
* tax treaties: many, OECD model, primarily personal and orporate income contact: Price Waterhouse, Austria

Barbados
* language: English
* currency controls: some (none for offshore banks & nsurance)
* preferred legal entities: company, public company, offshore bank, exempt insurance company, foreign sales corporation , international business company
* taxes: income tax offshore banks and international business companies 2.5%, exempt insurance companies and foreign sales corporations none * tax treaties: double-tax treaties with 5 major countries (incl. U.K. & U.S.)

Bermuda
* language: English
* currency controls: none for nonresidents
* bank secrecy: moderate
* preferred legal entities: local (conduct business in Bermuda, must be 60% Bermuda owned), exempt (only conducts business outside Bermuda)
-- min. capitalization US$12,000
-- extensive background check on the principles
* taxes: no income, profit, sales, value added, witholding, or capital gains taxes
* tax treaties: no double-tax treaties. U.S. can be provided with tax information concerning civil & criminal tax cases

Costa Rica
* language: Spanish
* currency controls: only on local currency, applies only to citizens or legal entities
* bank secrecy: good
* legal entities: individual enterprise/limited liability collective company, limited partnership, limited-liability company, stock corporation (aka chartered company): most common
* taxes: 15% on dividents for some nonresident shareholders, moderate corporate income, payroll, imort, real estate taxes.
Exporters exempt from most taxes.
* tax treaties: no double-tax treaties. Caribbean Basin Initiative exchange-of-information agreeement signed but not yet ratified (as of 1/93).

Hong Kong
* languages: Cantonese, English
* currency controls: none
* bank secrecy: moderate?
* preferred legal entity: limited-liability corporation (English common law Companies Ordinance)
* taxes: 16.5% domestic source corporate income, 15% domestic employment wages, 15% on domestic property rental income
* tax treaties: no double-tax agreements
* n.b.: treaty to return Hong Kong to Communist China in 1997

Ireland
* language: English
* currency controls: none?
* bank secrecy: moderate?
* preferred legal entity: noresident company (private corporation w/limited liability, must conduct operations outside Ireland)
* taxes: only on Irish operations
* tax treaties: many double-tax treaties
* n.b.: those with Irish grandparents can obtain second citizenship

Leichtenstein
* languages: German, Alemanni
* currency controls: none
* bank secrecy: excellent
* preferred legal entities: allows any type found anywhere in the world (!) establishment (limited liability, unlimited duration) company limited by shares foundations and trusts
* taxes: none for income outside Leichtenstein. Net worth tax of 0.01% on capital and reserves (min. 1,000 Swiss francs), local resident taxes
* tax treaties: not party directly or indirectly to any exchange-of- information agreements double-tax treaty exists only with Austria
* n.b.: bankers won't assist law enforcement officials with drug, fraud, theft, or tax investigations. They might assist in money laundering and insider trading investigations, informing the customer first.

Luxembourg
* languages: Letzeburgesh, French, German, English
* bank secrecy: moderate
* preferred legal entity: holding company
* taxes: holding companies pays only 10% registration fee on issued shares and 0.20% annual capital tax on issued capital bonds.
* tax treaties: many double-tax treaties
* n.b.: EC member

Malta
* languages: Maltese, English
* currency controls: none
* bank secrecy: good
* preferred legal entities: offshore notrading, trading,
* banking (overseas, subsidiary, local), insurance, trusts
* taxes: nontrading exempt, trading very low
* tax treties: many double-tax treaties
* n.b.: EC member

Netherlands
* language: Dutch
* currency controls: ??
* bank secrecy: poor
* preferred legal entities: private or public NV (can have bearer shares)
* taxes: complex, high (many loopholes for large offshore companies)
* tax treaties: many

Panama
* languages: Spanish, English
* curency controls: none
* bank secrecy: good; numbered accounts permissable
* preferred legal entity: corporation
* taxes: none on income generated outside Panama
* tax treaties: only on shipping income

Singapore
* languages: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, English
* currency controls: none
* bank secrecy: moderate; numbered accounts available
* preferred legal entities: private limited company
* taxes: none on dividends, foreign deposit interest, or income derived from outside Singapore. * tax treaties: many

Switzerland
* languages: French, German, Italian, Romansch
* currency controls: none
* bank secrecy: moderate to good; numbered accounts available
* preferred legal entity: AG (stock company under Laws of Obligation)
* taxes: 3.6-9.8% worldwide income tax for operating companies, 35% witholding tax on interest and dividends
* tax treaties: many double-tax treaties

Vanuata
* languages: Melanesian, French, English
* currency controls: none
* bank secrecy: moderate?
* preferred legal entities: holding, trading, agency, mgmt. service, contracting
* taxes: no income or capital gains taxes
* tax treaties: none

Western Samoa
* languages: Samoan, English
* currency controls: none
* bank secrecy: good * preferred legal entities: international company, offshore bank, insurance company
* taxes: none for companies under offshore acts
* tax treaties: none

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