Your Money - Ask Peter Brooke of Spectrum IFA
Opening an Offshore account
I'm currently working at Lloyds TSB International where we open all offshore accounts. You can apply online at lloydstsb-offshore.com. You will then be required to send in documentation to confirm your identity such as a Certified passport which must be certified to the correct standards which are for instance it must state true likeness, true copy of the original etc. If this is not stated this will hold up your application. They will also require a document to confirm your actual residency. Please make note that all certifications need to be done by a reputal person such as a bank official etc. If you are still classed as residing in the USA a utility bill or bank statement which can be original or again certified will be accepted. Once this has been received and accepted the account will be opened. Unfortunately they can only send your debit card to the address you state on your application.
I've just opened my Euro account for when I head out to Antibes in March for a new career in the yachting industry.
Hope the above helps you and is what your looking for.
The following page has a good discussion of the issues - pay special attention to the section regarding Self Employment (i.e., Social Security) taxes. If you don't set up your situation correctly (especially if you are under a contract) it looks like you may be liable for SS even though you may not be liable for income tax.
Whatever you do, do not join Lloyds Offshore. They offer the most appalling service I have ever come across (and I'm not just talking banks- I'm talking businesses in general.) Having complained to them a month ago explaining that I was not able to access my income within my account, they are yet to offer a solution!
My account was initially blocked when I tried to change my address on file with them (following the methods they stipulate.) Since trying to do so, they have frozen my account, responded to my requests with conflicting information and continued to correspond with me by POST (!!) by sending letters to my previous address.
No one is willing to deal with the issue at stake- dealing with Lloyds is a headache from beginning to end. Presumably they're just waiting for my savings to be exhausted having made so many international calls.....Don't be surprised when they hang up on you either!