Globalization and international supply chains can divorce economic activity from national tax structures, and cause multi-jurisdictional tax disputes. As advocates, our job is legally to separate commerce from taxation, when possible.

Why Is this Webpage Entitled “Offshore” and not “International Taxation”?

Our home page says we engage in “International Taxation.” But, the oft-used phrase,“International Taxation” is a misnomer.

“International taxation” as a phrase or even as a legal term of art means nothing, honestly.

The intellectual and professional discipline in which we engage for our clients is the study and application of laws and regulations that apply to the taxation of cross-border activity, i.e., things people or businesses might do in two or more countries that could cause them a tax obligation in one or both countries.

So, when we say “International Taxation,” what do we mean?

Consider the perspective of government tax collectors in the two countries that are on each side of a cross-border transaction.

Assume for discussion, the tax-collecting governments will want to collect applicable, e.g., income, tax in both countries.

Our job is to help clients legally avoid or minimize what tax will be owed in either country. We don’t help anyone evade tax liability because tax evasion is a crime. But helping avoid or minimize taxes is legal.

How do we help clients minimize tax in cross-border transactions?

We consider whether based on a person’s citizenship, domicile, and residence(s), whether they must report or pay tax on their worldwide income, or only their in-territory income, type of income (e.g., earned, passive, royalty, etc), where they may be “tax resident,” and in what country or countries income is earned. And, we consider international agreements like tax treaties, that are intended to avoid double taxation.

What does “Offshore” mean?

“Offshore” has come to be a dirty word, sort of. But it need not be this way. Offshore conjures images and, sometimes, myths about “tax havens” and where a person earns or deposits their money to avoid tax in their home country.

We look at where a person is a citizen, where they live (permanently and/or have other abodes), and where they earn money. Sometimes those are not the same place. Sometimes when they are different countries, it’s possible to pay no tax in any of the countries involved.

So, we call this web page “Offshore,” because it’s sometimes possible that when a person lives and works “Offshore”, i.e., out of their country of citizenship (where they have a passport or their country of origin), they can avoid or minimize tax.

“International Taxation” as used on our homepage often boils down to whether we can assist clients legally to avoid or minimize tax with an offshore domicile and residences, and a “center of vital interests” outside the country of origin or tax residence.