An offshore account specifically refers to a bank account that is opened in a country other than that of the owner/depositor. An offshore account is usually held in a jurisdiction known for its attractive legislation as regards taxes (tax havens).
The jurisdiction could be tax free or the tax levied is small and almost insignificant. Merits of opening an offshore account is protection of funds against political instability as well as local financial instability. You also get to enjoy bank secrecy as well as ease of access to your deposits.
Offshore account features
If you are just hearing about an offshore bank account for the first time, you could probably be wondering what differentiates it from a domestic bank account. Unlike a domestic bank account, an offshore account is available in multiple currency accounts which is an attractive feature especially if your domestic currency is susceptible to fluctuations every now and then.
You have the freedom to choose in which currency you wish your funds to be held which essentially shields you against domestic currency depreciation.
A select few offshore accounts allow for free international transfers between currencies which essentially means that one can avoid hefty international exchange rates.
The accounts can also be easily accessed through the use of a debit card, mobile phone as well as online banking.
Perhaps the most outstanding feature of an offshore account is secrecy. Your identity is kept safe and secret as all transactions are traced under the company name or proxy you nominate!
Scope of offshore account
Considering the fact that offshore accounts form a significant size of the international financial system, pundits are of the opinion that the accounts hold at least 26% of the world’s wealth in tax havens.
Approximately £13 to £20 trillion is held in offshore bank accounts and this amount is expected to grow in coming years as more and more people understand the benefits that come with opening an offshore account.
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