Judicially-Compelled Repatriation of Assets—Why Hiding Assets Offshore Won't Save You
Many debtors in the past two or three decades have been lulled in by the siren call of offshore accounts, whether via planners, airline catalogs, or do-it-yourself kits.
Subsequently, many of them have languished in federal prison on charges of tax evasion, civil and criminal contempt, perjury, and civil and criminal conspiracy.
If a judgment is rendered against you, you will be subject to a debtor's examination under oath where you will need to disclose all accounts worth more than $10,000. Hiding the accounts subjects you to perjury charges; revealing the accounts will subject you to an order to bring the assets back into the country ("repatriate" them) or suffer contempt of court. If you refuse, you will be jailed until you comply, and debtors have been jailed for years based on this. The contempt power of any court is strong.
The court will also not accept an excuse based on impossibility, namely that the transfer was irrevocable. The debtor will be made to prove the impossibility, and virtually all have failed.
Offshore planning can be a valid part of an asset protection plan. But hiding large amounts of money in offshore accounts will only be effective if you are willing to flee the country to somewhere without extradition and never come back.
Effective asset protection plans do not require secrecy to be effective, nor drastic measures like leaving the country to be effective.