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Tax Engineering

What is a self-loan?


Question

What is a self-loan? What kind of interests do these self-loans have? What are the advantages and disadvantages of self-lending money?

Answer

The main job of banks, whether in a tax haven or in a high-tax country, is to lend money in exchange for some interest. Offshore banks are not an exception and also lend money to individuals and companies with "very good" conditions. Nowadays, with the economic crisis, banks do not lend money if they do not have a proof of an absolute solvency of the client and as a result it became difficult to obtain a loan. If the client is suitable and passes all the credit controls of the bank, he will request a pledged deposit in a bank account or a fully blocked investment fund. Suppose a client wants to apply for a loan of 100,000 euros. In order for the bank to provide you with the loan, you will be requested to block a deposit in the account for total amount of 50% to 80% of total amount. That is, you will have an amount of 50,000 euros blocked in an account. Depending on client’s profile and the risk it may cause to the entity, the interests will be higher or lower and it is likely that they will not follow the central bank's standards and they will mark the interest rate for lending money to the client. 

In tax havens the banks lend money through self-loans, what are they? Self-loans, also called "back to back loans", are loans that get requested in high-tax countries but the guarantee of collection is in a tax haven. That is, the client requests the loan in a bank of a tax haven with offices in high taxation countries, the borrowed money is delivered in the country of high taxation without taxes and the bank charges it in a bank account that the client has in the tax haven. 

The main advantages of a self-loan are: 

  1. The natural or legal person contracts a debt in the jurisdiction of high taxes. 
  2. It allows transferring the money to an offshore or onshore account in a legal manner. 

The main disadvantages of a self-loan are: 

  1. High interests that offshore banks apply on the loans. 
  2. If the bank does not know the client very well and does not have a good credit history, the bank will not be able to provide him with a self-loan. 

As you can see, banks in tax havens function exactly like those in high tax countries: banks lend and auto lend money, charge high interest for this service, charge high fees and if they do not know you well do not approve the loan.



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