by Greg Lipke
If you love living where you are now, then there is probably no need for you to move.
However, after reading this chapter, you may start to develop itchy feet. The grass sometimes IS greener on the other side.
What are the advantages of moving? Basically that depends on where you live now and on how you want to live. Moving to another country can reduce or eliminate income, corporate and capital gains taxes. Now I've got your attention. Here is the BUT If you live in the USA you are taxed by your government on your world-wide income regardless of where you live in the world. That's rude. It may still be tax advantageous to move however. You won't get taxed twice. If you move to a tax haven where there are no or minimal taxes you will still have to pay the IRS but you won't have any paperwork to do in your new home. If you move to a non-tax haven with a double taxation treaty with the USA there are many options open to you usually for reducing your taxable income. Talk to an advisor who specializes in international taxation. I'm not an accountant. I'm not even American so the US taxation system is not something I am well versed in. However, I do know that significant tax savings are possible when properly structured.
If you are a citizen of a country with a residency based taxation system, and most are, then your tax saving opportunities are much easier. Just move. Once you reside outside these countries the tax departments no longer have any interest in taxing you. You only need to pay tax in the country you move to, if that country requires it.
Tax reasons are not the only reason to move overseas. It isn't even the most important reason, saving tax is just a bonus.
The real reason, and only important reason to move is to increase your standard of living. What you need to ask yourself is this. What do you want? Does the place you live in now provide that for you? Do you want a more laid back lifestyle? Do you want to be exposed to less crime? Do you want a less expensive lifestyle, but with more luxury? Do you want a warmer or cooler climate? Do you want cheaper real estate and no capital gains taxes? etc. Only you know what you want. Below we will explore some of the best places in the world and why. Perhaps one of these places will suit what you are looking for.
We will also look at the issue of economic citizenship. Economic citizenship programs are made available by 2 countries presently. They are St.Kitts & Nevis and Dominica. These countries, in exchange for varying amounts of money, will give you instant legal citizenship including a passport. You are not required to live in any of these countries, but as a citizen you can if you want to. The main advantage of these programs is the gaining of the second passport. This is essential for world travel if your original passport is from a country that has developed many enemies. For example, if your aircraft or cruise ship is hijacked by terrorists you may survive if you have a St Kitts & Nevis or Dominican passport because nobody has an argument with these countries. If you are carrying a passport from the US, UK or Australia you are screwed. Also another example is this, if you travel to Arab countries and also Israel you will experience fewer problems with the custom officials in these countries if you use separate passports with separate visas for entry into each of these countries. Another important advantage of these passports is that they allow visa free travel to a huge number of countries making travel easier than it may be on your current passport. One of the most important advantages of a passport from these countries, however, is the investment opportunities that it opens up. Some investments are not open to the citizens of some countries. The 2nd passports discussed here can be used to identify yourself to banks and investment companies and so allow you to invest in these lucrative investments. These economic citizenship programs will be discussed further under the appropriate country listing.
Peruse the following country listings and see if any of these options fit your goals. My argument regarding residency is this. To live a luxury lifestyle you need to earn more and spend less whilst improving your standard of living. Moving to a tax haven, I believe, is essential. Reduce your tax and buy what you want cheaper. There are many fantastic places in the world you can move to and even save tax in, but many are expensive. Examples of these are Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Bermuda, Ireland, the UK, Andorra, Campione and in fact most places in Europe are a nice place to live. You have to be quite wealthy to live the luxury lifestyle in these places. If you are quite wealthy check them out. If you are moderately well off then you can leverage what you have and acquire a luxury lifestyle by moving to the countries I have highlighted below. Almost all of these countries have first world products and services at reasonable prices.
Here we go.
Vanuatu - is a group of islands north of New Caledonia, southeast of the Solomon Islands and west of the Fijian Islands in the South Pacific.
It is a beautiful, peaceful country and has been independent since 1980. If you would like to move there you are required to make a positive contribution to the economy. This means investing US$50,000 in an approved investment and also lodge an immigration bond to pay for your repatriation should you make a nuisance of yourself. You can opt to invest the US$50,000 in real estate, however, you cannot own land there. You instead purchase a 55 year lease that is renewable.
The people of Vanuatu speak Pidgin, English and French. The country is democratic and there is no income tax.
2. The Bahamas
The Bahamas - are a group of many islands south-east of the US and north-west of Cuba in the Caribbean.
This is a democratic, income and company tax free country renowned for its tropical beauty. It is also one of the few countries in the world where you can buy your own tropical island.
If you wish to reside here, permanent and temporary residency permits require the payment of approximately B$1,000 for the head of the family plus B$20 for each family member. Also required if you want permanent residency is an investment of B$250,000 in a registered group investment or B$500,000 in another investment. Temporary permits are valid for 1 year. Tourist visas allow you to stay for up to 8 months of the year.
The only worry I have with the Bahamas is global warming. The country is low lying and if the sea levels rise most of this country may become Atlantis. The official language of this country is English.
3. The Turks and Caicos Islands
The Turks & Caicos Islands - lie south east of the Bahamas.
This country is a dependency of the UK. There is no income or company tax, gift tax, inheritance, property or sales taxes.
Living and residency here is easy. It costs approximately US$2,000 for a permit to work or reside here. Don't even think about looking for a job here, however.
The country is democratic and the official language is English.
4. The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic - ( not to be confused with the Commonwealth of Dominica) is one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean. It is located east of Haiti and west of Puerto Rico.
This country is democratic and the official language is Spanish.
All foreign earned income is tax free here and you can live like a king because everything is so cheap.
If you are American, European, Canadian, British or Australian and have an external income your residency is virtually guaranteed. After 2 years you can apply for citizenship.
5. St Kitts and Nevis
St Kitts & Nevis - is a small island group in the Caribbean north of Montserrat and west of Antigua & Barbuda.
It is independent, democratic and English speaking.
There is no income tax or tax for offshore companies.
St Kitts & Nevis has a very good economic citizenship program, but it is expensive. This is the Rolls Royce option. It will cost you US$250,000 minimum investment in real estate, US$35,000 government fee for the main applicant, US$15,000 government fee per dependent, US$2,500 due diligence fees per adult and US$15,000 in application fees. This will give you full citizenship and a passport within approximately 3 months. This passport gives visa free travel to many countries as it is a British Commonwealth passport.
6. The Commonwealth of Dominica
The Commonwealth of Dominica - ( not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is an English speaking, democratic country. It has been independent since 1978. Dominica is located south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Caribbean.
There are no income taxes or company taxes. Dominica is also a nature lovers dream. Dominica has a very good economic citizenship program. It will cost you US$75,000 government fee for a single applicant or US$100,000 government fee for a family of up to 4 people. Due diligence fees range from US$15,000 plus US$700 per person. This will get you full citizenship and a British Commonwealth passport within 4 months.
7. The Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands - consists of 3 islands in the Caribbean north west of Jamaica and south of Cuba.
There are no income, inheritance or capital gains taxes.
You can immigrate here if you have a spotless reputation and at least US$150,000. You must be financially independent and not have to depend on the local economy for an income.
Belize - is paradise on earth. Belize is democratic, peaceful and there are no taxes. It is English speaking. Belize is located in Central America bordered by Mexico and Guatemala.
Becoming a resident is relatively simple. If you stay for a year you are granted permanent residency. You just need to have your tourist visa renewed every 3 months for a year. You must deposit at least US$2,200 into a local bank. After 5 years as a permanent resident you are eligible for citizenship.
You can easily live a luxury lifestyle in this country without a lot of money.
9. Costa Rica
Costa Rica - is located in Central America between Nicaragua and Panama. Costa Rica has has its problems over the years but things are improving and it remains a popular retirement destination for many people.
All income earned outside Costa Rica is tax free.
To gain residency you must be able to prove you have an income of more than US$1,000 per month. You just need to have this income exchanged into local currency at a local bank and present the receipts to the Tourism Institute every 2 years to renew your permit.
This is another country where you can live like royalty with little money. Costa Rica is a Spanish speaking democracy. English is widely understood though.
Panama - is located in Central America between Costa Rica and Columbia. Panama is a well established international financial centre with very attractive residency possibilities.
Panama is a Spanish speaking country where English is well known.
Income earned from outside Panama is tax free. This democracy is a first world country and Panama city could be mistaken for Miami.
Panama has three residency options:
The Panama Investor Immigration Program requires an investment of at least US$100,000 in a new company or business or in any business in the country employing at least 3 Panamanian citizens. The investors must be directors & officers of the company. OR, you can invest US$40,000 in a reforestation project. After 5 years with this residency permit you can apply for Panamanian citizenship and passport.
The Pamama Retiree Residence Program requires you to invest enough money in a term deposit at the Banco Nacional de Panama to generate at least US$750 per month in interest for a minimum of 5 years. You can also receive a non-citizens passport that is good for travel. This program does not lead to citizenship.
The Panama Pensionado Residence Program requires you to prove that you receive a pension of US$500 per month minimum from any government or private source outside of Panama. This program does not lead to citizenship. It does however, entitle you to many discounts country wide.
Dr Gregory Lipke is the CEO of Cyber Publishing Ltd. He has a Doctorate of Business Administration & a Bachelor of Science as well as years of experience in Private Investigation, Personal Protection & Security. He is the author of Your Luxury Guide .
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Greg_Lipke
Note from The Digital Nomad - The last link in this article "Your Luxury Guide" is a dead link. Here is a link to another Greg Lipke link: Cyber Publishing Ltd.
Not to confuse the issue, but I know for a fact that several other countries offer some form of an "Economic Citizenship Program", including the United State and Canada. I probably will write a post concerning this in the future after more research. Additionally, some of the programs cited above need to be updated. St. Kitts & Nevis, for example, has recently increased the investment and application fees.