Category Archives: Reporting

BullionStar Highlights Advantages To Storing Precious Metals In Singapore

These days, the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore is a popular destination for the storage of gold and other precious metals. A number of private vaults can be found there, as well as safe deposit boxes outside the banking system.

Last week, the Singapore bullion dealer BullionStar published a blog post entitled “Gold Demand in the Singapore Bullion Market” in which the advantages of storing precious metals in the “Switzerland of Asia” were highlighted. From BullionStar’s Blog on December 11:

One of the early initiatives that transformed Singapore into a precious metals trading and storage hub came in February 2012, when during a budgetary speech to parliament, finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced that the importation and supply of investment-grade gold and other precious metals in Singapore would become exempt from Singapore’s Goods and Services Tax (GST)…

Apart from the GST exemption on investment precious metals, there are a number of other jurisdictional advantages that have supported the growth of Singapore as a gold trading and storage hub, and that reinforce the logic for buying gold and storing gold in Singapore.

In Singapore, there are no other taxes when buying gold, silver or other precious metals. This means no capital gains tax, no other sales tax, no death tax, in short no taxes. There are no reporting requirements when buying or selling gold or silver or other precious metals in Singapore. This means no reporting requirements to any Singaporean authority and no reporting requirements to any international authority.

There is no GST when importing gold and other precious metals into Singapore, or exporting gold or other precious metals out of the country. Singapore is also famed for its strong rule of law, making the country one of the safest and most secure countries on earth to buy and store gold. If taking delivery or selling precious metals, it is quite safe, apart from the usual precautions, to walk in and out of bullion dealer shops in Singapore carrying your precious metals.

Furthermore, the Singapore legal system is very protective of private property rights, and the nation of Singapore has strong military capabilities, both of which are reassuring when storing gold or silver in the city-state. Finally, because it’s a thriving gold trading hub, with a buoyant wholesale and retail bullion market, Singapore has a very well-developed gold storage and vaulting infrastructure, and is very well serviced by secure transport companies

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

An informative blog post about Singapore’s growth as a precious metals trading and storage hub, which can be read here on BullionStar’s website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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‘Paradise Papers’ And Offshore Asset Protection Going Forward

Some time ago, an overseas safe deposit box facility contacted me about removing them from that list of offshore private vaults I maintain on this blog’s sister site.

The concern was over the use of the word “offshore” with the website- and the negative connotation associated with it these days.

I sympathized with the vault operator and happily complied with the request.

I was already well-acquainted with the demonization of pretty much anything having “offshore” attached to it while creating/naming the Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes blog and Offshore Private Vaults website four years ago. However, I was comfortable with the use of the word with these projects since the secured storage of lawfully-obtained/owned, privately-held belongings outside the United States (plenty of legitimate reasons to do so, and perfectly legal per Uncle Sam) is different from offshore banking (no financial transactions are being conducted).

Offshore finance is under attack today as the so-called “Paradise Papers”– “a huge leak of financial documents that throw light on the top end of the world of offshore finance” as BBC News calls it- makes headlines in the legacy media.

But note what the BBC also said concerning this material. Tucked away in a “Paradise Papers reporting team” web article yesterday:

The vast majority of the transactions involve no legal wrongdoing.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And there’s this “pop-up” accompanying a piece by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), reportedly overseeing the investigation:

Please read the statement below before searching. There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any people, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

While the “Paradise Papers” may result in additional vilification of anything “offshore” among consumers of mainstream media, likely users of offshore products could shrug it off (while keeping in mind the importance of following the law). It’s conceivable this group ends up dismissing the matter after they contemplate/investigate potential agendas and/or influences.

I leave readers with this, which I posted on April 5, 2016, with the release of the “Panama Papers”:

Even though offshore corporate structures, offshore banking, and the like aren’t exactly my forte and not really areas this blog and sister site Offshore Private Vaults focus on, I feel I too should emphasize “offshore” doesn’t necessarily mean “criminal.”

The secured storage of legally-obtained and owned assets in bank and private, non-bank safe deposit boxes located outside the United States is perfectly within the law. And as regular readers of this blog know, Americans do it for a variety of reasons, including:

• Securing and having convenient access to valuables while residing, studying, travelling, and working overseas
• Geographically-diversifying wealth per the advice of financial/investment advisers
• “Prepping” for potential nationwide emergencies/disasters, where domestic access to privately-owned assets becomes impossible
• Protecting assets should “Uncle Sam” ever go rogue and join the growing wealth confiscation movement across the globe

While both the blog and website are aimed at the law-abiding, I still go so far as to communicate the following to visitors:

“Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes strongly condemns any attempted use of these overseas storage containers for illegal purposes.”

“Offshore Private Vaults strongly condemns any attempted use of these private vaulting facilities and their safe deposit boxes/lockers for illegal purposes.”

As it concerns U.S. government reporting requirements, just last week I blogged:

If “Uncle Sam” requires precious metals in an offshore bank safe deposit box to be reported, then by all means, you should do it.

And should taxes be involved, the way I see it, it’s like The Good Book says:

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…

In conclusion, who knows how far the fallout from the “Panama Papers” will extend. But it would be a real shame if offshore asset protection , and in particular the tool of the offshore safe deposit box, gets thrown under the bus from this event despite it being beneficial and legal for Americans to pursue.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on information found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

Sources:

Paradise Papers Reporting Team. “Paradise Papers: Tax haven secrets of ultra-rich exposed.” BBC News. 6 Nov. 2017. (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41876942?ocid=socialflow_twitter&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=twitter). 7 Nov. 2017.

“Offshore Trove Exposes Trump-Russia Links And Piggy Banks Of The Wealthiest 1 Percent.” International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. 5 Nov. 2017. (https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/paradise-papers-exposes-donald-trump-russia-links-and-piggy-banks-of-the-wealthiest-1-percent/). 7 Nov. 2017.

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