The Shanghai Gold Exchange Gold Fix

Is it Legal to Own and Store Gold Offshore?

Gold has historically been used as an alternative to currencies. While governments all over the world continue to print money without financial backing because of the current economic crises, gold has stood the test of time and maintained its value. In times of inflation, this precious metal has always provided good return on investment, perhaps explaining why so many people are keen on owning it. Over the last 12 years, gold’s rate of return has been exceptional. Gold rose in value in the last past 10 years by nearly 470%. But why are people rushing to store gold offshore and is it legal? Well, let’s have a look.

Under current U.S reporting laws, if you own gold offshore in an individual name, it is not a requirement that you report it to either the IRS or the U.S Treasury. However, if the title of the gold is held in the name of a legal entity, it must be reported but if it is held in your offshore account, it is reportable. So, owning and holding gold in an offshore account is completely legal.

There are several reasons why people use offshore accounts to own and store gold. These include offshore confidentiality, protection, tax planning, privacy, and investment diversification among other things. A carefully planned and executed offshore account can assist you with each of the areas mentioned above. By transferring your gold to an offshore account, you are also protecting your asset to the fullest extent.

It is easy to have some or all of your gold in an offshore account waiting for you when you need it. If in the event of a price movement you want to sell it, you can always hire a local lawyer and instruct them to act on your behalf. Considering that many countries, especially those in Asia, view gold as something in demand or money, it is often easy to sell and fetch better prices in Asian countries.

If you choose to store your gold in a private vault facility, you also add a unique layer of privacy to your asset. This is because precious metals held in non-bank facilities, and more so gold, are not subject to government reporting. From Switzerland and Singapore to Austria and Hong Kong, there are many gold storage facilities in these privacy-friendly countries.

Other countries,  like the ones mentioned above have many facilities where you can rent a box capable of storing millions of dollars worth of gold for as little as a few hundred dollars a year. Because these facilities are built to house gold of such nature, they often have excellent security, unlike many of the safe deposit boxes run by local banks.

Obviously, it is imperative that you do your due diligence on the storage option you identify before choosing it. Of course you will have to research on a number of vaults and storage facilities located in different parts of the world. If you have to transport your metals overseas to deposit them, there are a number of export regulations and disclosures and these vary from one country to another.

When you store your gold offshore, especially if you store it anonymously, it is not possible to lose that gold to any suspect lawsuit back home. This is because courts in your home country do not have jurisdictions in countries like Hong Kong, Austria or Singapore because these countries have their own financial rules, courts and laws.

Many people choose to have offshore gold accounts simply because they are tired of intrusion into their private financial life in their home countries. One of the reasons why offshore accounts have remained popular is because many countries offer better confidentiality and privacy. They offer the best bank secrecy laws with every offshore account held there. On the same note, many have no mutual agreement treaties for sharing of personal banking information with other countries, although the layer of privacy is rapidly vanishing. Besides that, a few countries still offer bearer shares where investors are able to maintain complete privacy and anonymity.

Tax planning is another important aspect why people choose to open offshore gold accounts. Panama, for instance, is one of the most popular destinations in the world to open an offshore gold account because it is a considered by many a tax haven. Some of the tax benefits of opening an offshore account in this country include exemption to stamp tax, no income tax on foreign earned income, no interest income tax, and no capital stock tax among other tax benefits.

Offshore gold storage offers secure and confidential storage of your gold. Many people store gold offshore to escape oppressive and often insecure terms in their countries. It is also an excellent opportunity to diversify your investment internationally. For better ways on storing your gold, storing gold offshore is the way to go.