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The Bellinger Case - Offshore Asset Protection Trust Defeats Creditor's Claim

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, lawsuit, offshore • Posted on: Jun 11, 2014

In a recent Federal court case (in the Southern District of Florida), a North Carolina bank attempted to reach the assets sequestered by a debtor in an offshore trust. The bank’s attempt was thwarted by the District Court.

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Using Trusts to Protect Assets in a Divorce

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, california, divorce, family, living trust, planning, trust • Posted on: May 21, 2014

Marriage is entered into with optimism and good faith, but it is almost careless not to prepare for the possibility of a marriage breakdown.

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Bitcoin: Asset Protection

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection • Posted on: Apr 11, 2014

Bitcoin is a digital or virtual currency that uses peer-to-peer technology for the payment of goods and services. It is an internet-based currency that was established in 2009, and has experienced such exponential growth that companies such as eBay and Overstock now accept it as a form of payment.

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Individuals and Businesses Prepare For FATCA Deadline

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, tax law • Posted on: Feb 20, 2014

Individuals and Businesses Prepare For FATCA Deadline

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U.S. Congress Goes After Apple, or Is It Ireland?

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, offshore, tax law • Posted on: Jun 03, 2013

Senate hearings about Apple's alleged tax avoidance have been in the news the last few weeks. News stories abound, describing how Apple generates billions of dollars in profits overseas, using a chain of entities set up in Ireland, pays no U.S. income taxes on those profits and pays almost no income taxes in Ireland. The alleged scandal is so delicious, few reporters passed it up.

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Your Government Wants Your Money!

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, bank, offshore, swiss banks • Posted on: May 03, 2013

The economic downturn we have experienced over the past few years have made sovereign states desperate for your money. We have seen a wide push by many developed nations, most notably U.S. and Germany, to pursue "offshore" wealth.

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Citizenship for Sale in the Caribbean

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, foreign, investment, irs, offshore, planning, tax law • Posted on: Feb 12, 2013

Here is an interesting article from AP about citizenship for sale in the Caribbean. Most nations sell citizenship, or at least permanent residence with a path to citizenship (including the U.S. and many EU nations) - Caribbean nations make it very affordable. We have helped our clients obtain citizenship in various countries, mostly in East Caribbean. The need for a second citizenship is usually fueled by tax planning (i.e., the client is planning to surrender primary citizenship) or politics (if you may need to flee Russia or Saudi Arabia someday, you need a second passport). Costs and difficulty of obtaining second citizenship varies by country, but in all cases the most important consideration is the ability to travel using the second passport. For example, an individual holding a U.S. or a Schengen passport may travel most anywhere in the world without a visa. The same is not true for citizens of many Caribbean nations.

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Gift Now!

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: estate planning, estate tax, family, living trust, tax law • Posted on: Nov 09, 2012

With Democrats retaining control of the White House and of the Senate it is very unlikely that there will be an extension of the current $5 million exemption for transferring assets to children by gift or on death. On January 1, 2013 the exemption drops to $1 million and the tax rate goes up from 35% to 55%. We strongly encourage all of our clients (and all taxpayers) to gift today and take advantage of the $5 million exemption before it disappears. The difference between what you children will get if you plan today, versus putting it off until 2013 is literally in the millions. Gift Now!

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IRS Announces Third Amnesty Program for Offshore Accounts

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, irs, offshore • Posted on: Jan 09, 2012

The Internal Revenue Service today reopened the offshore voluntary disclosure program to help people hiding offshore accounts get current with their taxes and announced the collection of more than $4.4 billion so far from the two previous international programs.

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Rumor Heard: Sweeping Settlement with Swiss Banks

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, swiss banks • Posted on: Oct 24, 2011

There is a rumor going round that the Swiss banks may enter into a sweeping settlement with the U.S. government to settle civil claims.  The banks will hand over names of thousands of U.S. clients and pay billions of dollars.  The settlement will not cover criminal charges pending against several Swiss and Israeli banks.

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Legal Treatise on Asset Protection Planning in California Published

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, california, press release • Posted on: Sep 22, 2011

Press Release

Los Angeles, CA, September 22, 2011 – Over the past decade attorney Jacob Stein has represented over one thousand clients seeking to protect their assets from claims of creditors. During the same time Mr. Stein taught several hundred seminars, educating thousands of lawyers and accountants on how to properly protect their clients’ assets, and published numerous scholarly articles.

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Several More Swiss Banks Under Scrutinty

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, swiss banks, tax law • Posted on: Sep 21, 2011

The U.S. government is requesting information on American account holders from several more Swiss banks. These banks include the giant Credit Suisse, as well as HSBC, Julius Baer Group Ltd., Wegelin & Co., Basler Kantonalbank and Zuercher Kantonalbank. These banks are apparently under secret grand jury investigation in the U.S. The banks have not yet commented on the inquiry.

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The High Cost of a Corporate Trustee

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, corporate trustee, trust • Posted on: Aug 02, 2011

A corporate trustee is a bank or a licensed trust company that provides trustee services on a professional basis.  A corporate trustee may be as large as the trust department of Bank of America or the Northern Trust Company, or a little organization you have never heard of.  All corporate trustees charge for their services.  Some on a flat fee basis, some as a percentage of assets under management.  How much a trustee will charge depends on what it is required to do under the trust agreement.

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Latest Article on Asset Protection Published

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection • Posted on: Jun 06, 2011

Read my latest article, A Practical Primer and a Radical Approach to Asset Protection, published in the June 2011 issue of Estate Planning, a Thomson Reuters publication.

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Asset Protection for a Married Couple

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, family, planning • Posted on: Mar 23, 2011

There are several scenarios for married couples to consider in asset protection planning: To protect assets from creditors or potential lawsuits, to provide for a spouse and/or minor children after death, and to protect oneself in the event of a divorce. 

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IRS Announces Second Amnesty for Foreign Bank Accounts

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, offshore, tax law • Posted on: Feb 08, 2011

According to a press release issued by the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. taxpayers with foreign bank accounts now have a second chance to come forward a plead mia culpa.  The new program has a deadline of August 31, 2011.  The taxpayers who come forward will be subject to penalties and interest on unpaid taxes for the past 8 years, and an additional penalty of 25% of the highest balance in the offshore account.

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Upcoming Seminars on Asset Protection

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, seminar, webinar • Posted on: Jan 17, 2011

I have a few seminars coming up on asset protection planning.  On January 19, 2011 I will be teaching a morning webinar, with nation-wide distribution, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, and an evening seminar at the Los Angeles County Bar in Downtown, Los Angeles.  On February 16, 2011 I will be teaching a nation-wide webinar on asset protection, sponsored by the Rossdale Group.

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New Class on Estate Planning

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: cpa, estate planning, seminar • Posted on: Oct 13, 2010

By the time 2010 draws to a close I will end up having taught well over 50 seminars this calendar year.  Most are full day programs.  It is hard work, but I enjoy teaching, and it keeps me out of trouble.

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Offshore Banking Shifts to Asia

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asia, bank, offshore • Posted on: Sep 23, 2010

Yesterday's New York Times had an interesting article on offshore banking.  Apparently, following the shameful conduct of UBS and the Swiss government (yes, shameful), hundreds of billions of dollars left Swiss bank accounts and moved to Singapore and Hong Kong.  It is estimated that at least $200 billion left UBS alone.

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McCourt Divorce Sheds Light on Asset Protection

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, divorce, transmutation agreement • Posted on: Sep 02, 2010

Show of hands, who has not heard of the McCourt divorce case?  If you live in Los Angeles there is barely any other news coverage.  While public divorces of the rich have always made great fodder for gossip journalists, this divorce sheds some light on a frequently used, but infrequently discussed, asset protection technique. 

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Advantages of Foreign LLCs

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, foreign, llc, offshore • Posted on: Aug 16, 2010

Many foreign jurisdictions have enacted LLC statutes.  A lot of these jurisdictions are so-called tax havens, which generally means that an entity organized in that jurisdiction will not be taxed by that jurisdiction if the entity is not conducting any business in the jurisdiction.  If a U. S. business or U. S. real estate is owned by an entity organized in a tax haven, the entity will not be doing any business in the tax haven and will not be taxed there.

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Florida Supreme Courts Limits Charging Order Protection

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, charging order, florida • Posted on: Jun 30, 2010

In a recent decision (Olmstead v. FTC, Supreme Court of Florida, June 24, 2010), the Florida Supreme Court held that the charging order protection, an "exclusive remedy" for creditors pursuing LLC interests, is actually not the exclusive remedy, despite the plain meaning of the statute.

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UBS Story Finally Draws to a Close

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: planning, tax law • Posted on: Jun 17, 2010

After many months of suspense, the Swiss parliament has finally approved the deal struck by UBS and the US Justice Department to disclose the names of about 4,500 US-based clients of UBS who are suspected of tax dodging.

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Swiss Parliament Votes to Block Disclosure, For Now

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, tax law • Posted on: Jun 09, 2010

A week after the upper house of the Swiss parliament voted to allow disclosure of UBS clients to the US government, the lower house of Switzerland’s parliament voted to prevent the disclosure of the names and financial secrets of as many as 4,450 Americans who held undeclared accounts at UBS.

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Update on FBARs and UBS: The Fun Begins

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, tax law • Posted on: May 12, 2010

The quagmire involving US taxpayers with unreported foreign bank accounts continues.  The latest word:  IRS has over 200 dedicated agents conducting audits of those taxpayers who voluntarily disclosed them prior to the October 15, 2009 deadline.  These agents are conducting full audits of the taxpayers who came forward (where there is smoke, there is fire, and potentially other unreported tax issues) and looking to impose fairly significant civil tax penalties.  The audits also extend to those taxpayers who voluntarily came forward following the amnesty deadline, hoping to avoid criminal sanctions.

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HIRE Act Incorporation Foreign Account Reporting Requirements

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, tax law, trust • Posted on: Apr 13, 2010

The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act (Pub. L. No. 111-14) was signed into law on March 18, 2010. The Act creates tax breaks for businesses hiring new workers and extending higher expensing limits for small businesses that make capital investments. The Act also incorporates provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009, which has far-reaching implications for foreign financial institutions that may have U.S. clients.

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Swiss Court Reaches Out to Protect Our Clients

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, tax law • Posted on: Mar 01, 2010

On January 22, 2010 the Swiss Federal Administrative Court published its first judgment with respect to the IRS’s request for information.  The case relates to a UBS client who failed to provide the bank with a Form W-9.

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Amnesty Passes; UBS Sends Letters to Clients

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, tax law • Posted on: Oct 16, 2009

As the October 15 deadline has come and gone, more and more of our clients have reported receiving letters from UBS.

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IRS Extends Amnesty Deadline

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, tax law • Posted on: Sep 22, 2009

The Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline to participate in the FBAR amnesty program to October 15, 2009, and has indicated that there will be no more extensions.

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Details of UBS Deal Revealed

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, tax law • Posted on: Aug 19, 2009

The IRS has announced today that UBS will reveal names of 4,450 American account holders.  The actual names have not yet been released, and over the next few months these account holders will receive notices from UBS that their names will be disclosed to the IRS.  The account holders will then have the option of appealing the proposed disclosure to the Swiss appellate court on the grounds that the disclosure would violate Swiss banking secrecy laws.  It is not yet clear how successful such appeals may be.

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New Guidance on Private Retirement Plans in California

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, irs, retirement plan • Posted on: Aug 03, 2009

Earlier this summer, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released an opinion that sheds some light on the level of protection granted by the California exemption for private retirement plans.

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Shutting Down Valuation Discounts

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: limited partnership, llc, tax law • Posted on: Jul 29, 2009

As Congress frantically looks for ways to pay for the various stimulus and other wasteful spending proposals, increasing estate and gift taxes seems like a natural solution.  Although these two transfer taxes account for a small percentage of the government’s revenues, these taxes are not on the radar screen of the middle class or its defenders.  Consequently, these taxes can be increased with little unwanted attention, especially if the taxes are increased indirectly.

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Restricted LLCs

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: limited partnership, llc, nevada • Posted on: Jun 05, 2009

On May 29 the Governor of Nevada approved Nevada Senate Bill 350 which creates a new type of limited liability companies and limited partnerships. For simplicity, we will focus on the LLCs only.

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Swiss Banks Close Their Doors

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, foreign, tax law • Posted on: May 06, 2009

Every day more and more Swiss banks say "no" to US business. This year alone 7 Swiss banks that we regularly did business with told us that they will be kicking out all US clients and not accepting any new business.

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IRS Extends Its Hand to Taxpayers and Once Again Reaches Deep into Our Pockets

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, offshore, tax law • Posted on: Mar 31, 2009

Several years ago the Justice Department subpoenaed names of Americans who had Visa and MasterCard accounts with offshore banks. The IRS then offered these taxpayers a choice, come forward voluntarily and we will waive criminal prosecution and some monetary penalties, or wait until we get to you and then take the risk of criminal penalties.

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Update on Swiss Banks

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, tax law • Posted on: Mar 21, 2009

Last week I travelled to Zurich to meet with several Swiss private banks. We do a lot of business with Swiss banks, and the past few months have brought about many changes.

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Too Late!

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, lawsuit, planning • Posted on: Feb 04, 2009

Is it ever too late to protect assets? The answer is of course! How about when a lien is placed by a creditor on the debtor’s assets.

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Protecting Madoff Investors

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, bankruptcy, investment • Posted on: Dec 19, 2008

It is bad enough that most of the people who invested with Madoff will lose a significant amount of their wealth. It is also possible, in fact, likely, that many of the investors who received distributions from Madoff or pulled their money out in time may have to return the money.

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Anticipating a Change in Capital Gain Rates

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: capital gain, tax law • Posted on: Nov 19, 2008

There is a lot of excitement in Washington coming on the heels of the election. Change is in the air, and with this change comes the promise of higher income taxes.

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Economic Downturn a Boon for Asset Protection

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, planning • Posted on: Oct 01, 2008

The economic woes that have already impacted so many businesses are a boon for those of us who practice in the area of asset protection. About one year ago the flood gates opened and mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and real estate developers poured in.

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Continued Fallout from UBS

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, offshore, tax law • Posted on: Aug 18, 2008

The UBS scandal may have had a more profound impact on asset protection planning than previously suspected.

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The Ten Largest Banks in the World

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, bank, foreign • Posted on: Aug 11, 2008

It always surprises Americans that the U.S. banks that they have all heard about so much are not necessarily the largest banks in the world.

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IRS Goes After UBS AG

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: foreign, irs, offshore, tax law • Posted on: Jul 08, 2008

Following the indictment of several UBS AG (Switzerland) employees, the Justice Department requested permission from federal court to have the Internal Revenue Service issue John Doe summons to UBS AG (the Swiss parent of UBS). The John Doe summons will instruct the Swiss bank to provide to the IRS information on all U.S. taxpayer who may have bank accounts with the bank in Switzerland.

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Forecasting Capital Gain Rates

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: capital gain, tax law • Posted on: May 31, 2008

A recent Wall Street Journal has an article entitled Property Investors Fear Gains-Tax Rise, Shift 1031 Strategy.

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New York Targets Internet Retailers

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: tax law • Posted on: May 18, 2008

The State of New York has passed a new law scheduled to go into effect June 1, 2008, requiring internet retailers to collect sales taxes. The new law is expected to generate an additional $78 million of revenue per year for the state. Several other states, including California, are considering similar laws.

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Tax Fraud Pays Off?

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: irs, tax law • Posted on: May 07, 2008

The big tax news this month was the Justice Department’s loss in the Wesley Snipes case. Snipes has been cleared of federal tax-fraud and conspiracy charges, but was convicted on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file a tax return. He now faces up-to three years in a prison for the misdemeanor convictions.

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Tax Pandering or Tax Incentive?

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: tax law • Posted on: Apr 17, 2008

In response to Sen. McCain’s proposed tax plan an article in today’s Washington Post (McCain’s Plan for Working Class Offers Plenty for Corporate World) blasted the tax plan as pandering to corporations and businesses. The cry was picked up by several other publications as well. What is the proposed plan and does it amount to pandering?

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Downturn in the Real Estate Market Leads to More Asset Protection Planning

Author: Jacob Stein • Tags: asset protection, foreign, offshore, planning • Posted on: Mar 20, 2008

Following the credit crunch of August 2007, the real estate market has experienced a significant decline. Many of our clients are heavily invested in real estate or are involved in various development projects. For them, the reality of the declining market means a lot more than an interesting headline. It means that their entire estate may be facing a risk of loss. Here is a real life example.

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Latest Video Bob Klueger Estate Tax Law Video Bob Klueger talks about the effects of the new tax law.
Featured Article speaks with asset protection specialist Jacob Stein of Klueger & Stein, LLP in Los Angeles about the importance of protecting valuable assets, such as your private residence, rental real estate, investments and retirement plans.