I’m getting fed up with Hollywood. It’s almost impossible to kick back and relax without having all sorts of agendas being shoved in your face.

Last week, I was on a flight from Dubai to Vienna and decided to pass the time by watching Ozark on Netflix. I loved it at first – it’s about a financial planner that gets dragged into the dark world of money laundering for drug cartels.

Jason Bateman is great… but with respect to international taxation and asset protection, Ozark jumped the shark.

Without any help from his father, Jonah Byrd – the thirteen year old son of Bateman’s character – sets up a Panamanian company with his fake passport to launder some money.

As though setting up a foreign entity, a foreign bank account, and evading the IRS is no more difficult than ordering a pizza or an Uber ride.

Does little Jonah plan on doing his own tax returns too? I wonder if the writers will have the young lad hunched over a laptop using some off-the-shelf tax software.

Here is a list of some the forms US citizens might be required to file when moving assets offshore:

    • FinCen Form 114 – Report of Foreign Accounts (“FBAR”)
    • IRS Form W-8BEN – Certificate of Beneficial Owner (individuals)
    • IRS Form W-8BEN-E – Certificate of Beneficial Owner (entities)
    • IRS Form W-8ECI – Certificate of Effectively Connected Income
    • IRS Form W-8IMY – Certificate of Foreign Intermediary
    • IRS Form 926 – Transfers of Property to Foreign Corporations
    • IRS Form 1116 – Foreign Tax Credit (individuals)
    • IRS Form 1118 – Foreign Tax Credit (corporations)
    • IRS Form 1120-F – Income Tax Returns of Foreign Corporation
    • IRS Form 3520 – Foreign Trusts & Gifts
    • IRS Form 3520-A – Foreign Trust with U.S. Owner
    • IRS Form 5471 – Foreign Corporations Acquired & Owned by U.S. Persons
      • Schedule J – Accumulated Earnings and Profits
      • Schedule M – Related Party Transactions
      • Schedule O – Stock Transactions
    • IRS Form 5472 – 25% Foreign Owned U.S. Corporation
    • IRS Form 8621 – Passive Foreign Investment Companies
    • IRS Form 8804 – Partnership Withholding
    • IRS Form 8858 – Foreign Disregarded Entities
      • Schedule M – Related Party Transactions
    • IRS Form 8865 – Foreign Partnerships
      • Schedule K-`1 – Partner’s Share of Income
      • Schedule O – Contribution of foreign Partnership
    • IRS Form 8938 – Foreign Financial Assets

It’s one thing to know what forms to file, knowing how to fill them out correctly is another.

So, don’t forget about stuff like tax treaties and Subpart F income. But I suppose the child breezed through both of those subjects some time between recess and sex-ed.

To successfully launder money, you must not only know the rules but how to avoid getting caught by them as well.

Can Hollywood please stop pretending that going offshore is 1) easy, and 2) only for bad guys?

“Ok, we need a baddie. Any ideas?”

“I’ve got it! Let’s give him an offshore bank account!”

“Brilliant! Time for lunch.”

Enough with predictable plot lines. There are totally legitimate reasons to go offshore – get over it already.

ATTENTION HOLLYWOOD WRITERS: Stop being lazy. Stop writing about things you clearly don’t know anything about.

Hire me.

Seriously! I’m not kidding.

No, I won’t help you launder money but I can sure as hell write something more believable than a thirteen year old successfully navigating the 70,000+ page tax code and regulations.

Contact us for more information here.

Hollywood Sucks But I Want To Work There
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