Earlier this month, I decided to see how hard it would be to set up my own offshore bank account. I figured it would be pretty difficult, because I'm not rich and don't have a team of tax lawyers to oversee my money and because the E.U. and U.S. governments have been cracking down on tax havens by imposing stricter tax-sharing requirements. So I proceeded with some caution.
First, I Googled "company registration tax haven" and randomly picked three firms that set up accounts in offshore jurisdictions. Then I called each and explained that I was hoping to minimize my tax exposure and didn't want anyone to know anything about my finances. Each company quickly noted that I should consult a lawyer to make sure that I wasn't breaking the law. Then they calmly explained how to create an account that, it seemed to me, was unlikely to be discovered by the I.R.S. or any other authority.