This Train Isn’t Coming…It’s Upon Us
“Kathleen, I thought you’d like to see the letter I got from Citibank yesterday, on Dodd-Frank 1073 compliance. We’ve been speculating for a long time about how all this is going to play out…now I’ve got something in hand.
“Bottom line, Citi seems to be ducking the whole issue of the FATCA 30% withholding. If the beneficiary bank won’t supply the requested tax information, then Citi won’t send the wire. And people have just over two weeks to act…”
Over three days last week in Panama City, Lief Simon led discussions with the world’s leading offshore tax, banking, asset protection, investment, and business experts to help attendees at our Offshore Summit understand how to navigate and prepare for what lies ahead. What’s coming down the tracks.
In fact, though, the truth is, what’s coming is already upon us.
Saturday morning, Lief and I traveled with a group of 18 from the conference out to Los Islotes, Lief’s development-in-the-making on Panama’s Pacific coast. We had a great time showing our new friends around (I’ll tell you more about our adventures out on the Azuero Sunset Coast tomorrow). When we returned to Panama City late this afternoon, I downloaded e-mails and found the one I reference above from a friend.
“How do I find out if my bank in Colombia is going to comply with the coming regulations?” asked an attendee at last week’s conference.
“What transactions will be subject to the 30% withholding? ATM withdrawals?” wondered another.
The unfortunate reality is that no one knows the answers to these questions. What we do know is that the global banking and financial landscapes are changing. For all of us. I wouldn’t say for the better. More restrictions. More hassle. More cost. Fewer options. What can you do?
First, understand what’s coming and the potential implications. Joel Nagel, one of the best-schooled attorneys in the world on these issues, tax attorney Chris Bauer, tax advisor Tom Rowley, and Lief Simon spent a lot of time this past week talking through the facts, the consequences, and the strategies for positioning yourself to prevail in the face of them.
Second, diversify. That’s the key. It’s a necessity of the world we’re living in.
P.S. It’s the tail end of the rainy season here in Panama, but we enjoyed a day of glorious sunshine out at Los Islotes yesterday. The hills and mountains all around were a blanket of green, thanks to the rains of the past several months, and the Pacific Ocean offshore from them was blue, glistening, and crashing. Our son Jackson and friend Alexandra played in the surf while we grown-ups walked the beach, planning, imagining… As soon as this rainy season concludes, we’re ready to start moving dirt. More tomorrow.