Going Offshore In Panama

Unpolished, Unpredictable, Business-Friendly, And Delightfully Tax-Free

A friend from California is remaking his life before our eyes.

An international tax attorney who has built a successful practice in California, our friend is a single guy in his late 30s. His life Stateside is fully appointed. He’s got the condo, the car, the toys, the girlfriends. He dines out four or five nights a week and takes frequent vacations.

A couple of years ago, though, our friend had two realizations.

First, he realized he was bored. His life in California couldn’t be more comfortable, and his practice continued to expand, but it had all grown very predictable.

Second, as an international tax pro, our friend recognized that his own affairs were not nearly as tax-efficient as they could be.

The answer to realizing maximum tax efficiency, our friend knew, was to set himself up offshore.

Our friend also knew, from his decade-plus in the business, that Panama qualifies right now as the world’s top tax and doing-business jurisdiction. In the past two years, therefore, our friend has worked toward setting up a mirror practice in Panama City.

During this period, he has divided his time between Panama and California, spending two weeks in each place each month. Thanks to ever-advancing technologies, the set-up is transparent to his clients.

Now, two years later, he’s nearly ready to flip the switch. He’s rented and furnished an apartment in a neighborhood where he can walk to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and casinos whenever the whim strikes. He’s established an office base and hired a couple of employees. He’s started the paperwork for a reforestation visa. He’s shopping for a car…

And he’s found friends, connections, and, yes, a new girlfriend that mean the difference between relocating and making a new life.

By re-establishing himself in Panama, our friend has achieved his financial objectives.

And, as a bonus, he’s reinvented his lifestyle. He’s found a nest and feathered it with all the comforts and conveniences of his life back in California.

But, down here in the Hub of the Americas, he’s discovering, the day-to-day is anything but predictable. Here in this Tropical paradise, our friend’s new life is shaping up to be a little less polished, much more interesting, super business-friendly, and delightfully tax-free.

Kathleen Peddicord

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