“How to” text book by accountant on using offshore tax havens to avoid money laundering detection

By Christine Duhaime | April 7th, 2017

One of the most curious text books one can find in law libraries is a “how to” series of legal text books on how to select the best international tax haven for clients to hide their money. It’s curious because one would have thought that helping clients hide money is not what lawyers are permitted to do.

Called “Tax Havens of the World” and written by now-deceased accountant Walter Diamond, “Tax Havens of the World” provides a country-by-country guide that explains tax laws, banking laws, company law, financial crime oversight and bank account opening procedures.

The aim of “Tax Havens of the World” is to provide a “shopping guide” to select the best country to cloak one’s money and protect it from government control.

In “Tax Havens of the World”, Diamond describes the many benefits and advantages of tax havens and summarizes each of them. He describes their usefulness and explains why accountants and other professionals, as well as corporations, among others, should use them.

The key benefits, he writes, include:

  • to cloak foreign bank accounts in secrecy;
  • to shift investments without being taxed;
  • to give privacy to financial dealings and privacy over financial assets; and
  • to have no government control.

Mr. Diamond was particularly concerned with what he viewed as the growing oversight from anti-money laundering laws. He writes that offshore tax havens are the target of unfair “virulent attacks” by governments and accusatory tactics by the Financial Action Task Force.

For each country in the text book, Mr. Diamond describes things like the advantages of setting up trusts versus foundations and how to set up companies for anonymity so that no one can find out who controls those companies (who the legal and beneficial shareholders are). The book also describes the strength of each country’s anti-money laundering laws and its enforcement of those laws, as well as what must be disclosed to authorities if a person incorporates a company and parks money in that tax haven.

Despite what appears to be the questionable legality of some of the advice in respect of the use of offshore and other tax havens to cloak bank accounts and incorporate private companies in secrecy to avoid taxes and avoid anti-money laundering reporting, Mr. Diamond’s text books remain available.

“Tax Havens of the World” was updated annually until 2009. Mr. Diamond started out as a bank examiner and wrote text books for 25 years that promoted the use of tax havens to defeat law enforcement and government oversight.

Diamond was an accountant at Deloitte and KPMG, and a prolific teacher of the benefits of offshore tax havens, as well as an advisor to governments.

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