“Kathleen, how can I deposit money in Brazil, Ecuador, or Panama? Do I have to get permission from the Brazilian government here in Phoenix, or can I just go and visit these countries and go to a bank overseas?”
–Albert L., United States
When bringing money into Brazil, you have to register the funds properly to ensure you’re able to repatriate those funds and corresponding gains without much hassle. Best to use an attorney familiar with the process.
Ecuador doesn’t impose exchange controls per se, as they use the U.S. dollar, but they do charge a 5% repatriation tax on any funds that are transferred out of the country. You need to take that into account when investing there. Some people will tell you they know how to get around the tax, but I wouldn’t count on avoiding it when you want to get your money out.
Panama imposes no exchange controls, and neither does it tax the movement of money out of the country. They do, like Brazil and Ecuador, tax capital gains; however, they do not tax interest earned in Panama. So a 5% CD in Panama nets you 5% in Panama (although an American will still have to pay U.S. taxes on that interest amount).
Continue reading: Life In Ecuador