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Client identification requirements


MINIMUM IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS REQUIRED - INDIVIDUALS

Whilst we are committed to the confidentiality of our clients, we are obliged by law to obtain the following information relating to all individual beneficial owners, directors, shareholders, bank account signatories, grantees of powers of attorney and all persons in a position of control or influence in relation to any company or trust we may form or administer:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Residential Address

In addition, we prefer to receive a personal and financial history.

These are minimum requirements and we may require further information and/or documentation before we can commence a business relationship.


PROOF OF IDENTITY 

To establish the identity and signature of relevant individuals we require a copy of one of the following:

  • Current Valid Full Passport
  • Current Valid National ID Card
  • The copy must bear a photograph, a signature and the number.
  • The copy must be clearly legible and certified as a true copy.  Copy photographs must be certified as a true likeness of the relevant person.  Copies should be certified by a professional who should be:
  • a bank manager,
  • a lawyer, accountant, notary public or member of the judiciary
  • The certifier must use an official stamp, quoting the company name and address, must sign and clearly print their name, date the certificate and indicate their position or capacity on the copy document.
  • For certification of copy passports, an example of suitable wording for the person providing the certification is "I confirm that this is a true copy of the original passport and that the photograph is a true likeness of [relevant name]."


PROOF OF RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS

To validate the home address of all relevant individuals, please provide one of the following, for each person:

  • utility bill (eg telephone bill [mobile telephone bills are not acceptable], electricity etc.),
  • bank or mortgage statement from a recognised bank, credit card statement,
  • bank reference from a recognised bank, confirming the home address.

The item should preferably be an original and be less than three months old or certified as above.


PERSONAL HISTORY 

In order to understand our clients' backgrounds and to assist in establishing banking arrangements (if required) information about our clients' work experience, education and qualifications is likely to be of considerable assistance together with a clear understanding of our clients' wealth, financial circumstances and financial history.


MINIMUM INFORMATION DOCUMENTS REQUIRED – CORPORATES

In the case of clients which are corporate entities we will require:

  • Details of the nature of the client company's business, including annual turnover, asset base, source of funds or wealth, geographical spread of business, number of employees and where appropriate trading partners.
  • When available, the latest available accounts of the client company.
  • Full corporate information of Legal entities and structures as applicable inform of certified true copies (apostiled) or equivalent of the client company.
  • The address of the registered office and place of business of the client company.
  • When available, Certificate of Good Standing issued by the Statutory Registry of the country of incorporation of the company or equivalent, proving that the client company is in good standing.
  • When available, a Certificate of Incumbency or equivalent, or the results of a company search of the company.
  • A copy of the Board Resolution authorising the client company's officers to establish a Client Company showing who is authorised to issue instructions.
  • Copies of Powers of Attorney, or any other authorities, affecting the operation of the proposed Client Company. 

Personal Client Identification (as described above) on:

  •  All persons authorised to issue instructions.

and

  • Unless otherwise agreed by us, all directors, shareholders and beneficial owners of the client company.


DELIVERY OF DOCUMENTS 

These may be faxed or scanned and e-mailed to us but the originals must be sent to us by courier or mail.  We cannot undertake work until the originals have been received.  If you are unable to supply any of these documents you should contact us.

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careers

If you own a corporate enterprise, you may be able to better manage your tax situation with some careful planning. If you do your tax planning well, you could shell out less money in taxes. This leaves you with more money to enjoy for all your efforts. Any losses you make, any debt that a customer owes you or any equipment you buy could be used to strategically plan your taxes.


Net Losses

If you make a loss in running your business, you could get tax write-offs to reduce the amount of tax you pay. This requires some tax planning, since the IRS allows you to take such breaks in two out of five years. If you declare losses more frequently than that, the government could classify your business as a hobby and, even worse, make you ineligible for the write-offs you had earlier. Thus, you might find it worth your while to plan strategic purchases and aggressively collect on debts to put yourself in the black. For tax years 2008 and 2009, a time of significant economic stress, the federal government enacted a special provision allowing businesses to write off net operating losses for five prior years, rather than the usual two. They could also choose which years they wanted the write off. It is not clear how this provision will be handled in future years.


Depreciation Allowances

When you buy any capital equipment for use in the business, you could write off a part of the expense as depreciation every year. This too provides a strategy to plan your taxes so that you pay out less. If you are just about breaking even in a year, you may not have much income to write off the depreciation against. In this case, you may find it more worthwhile to plan your equipment purchase for a period when you expect to generate more income to write off the equipment depreciation against.


Debts

If you sold a good to a customer on credit and were not able to collect on the debt, you could take a write-off on the bad debt. This will have the effect of reducing your taxes. The debt must be directly related to your business to qualify. The trick is to plan your write-off so that you have enough income to set it off against and you minimize the amount of taxes you owe.

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Many people understand that investing offshore can result in some people saving tax, earning more on their savings and having access to a wider range of underlying products through which to invest.

However, investing offshore is neither the right approach nor the legal approach for all those looking to legitimately save tax which is why personalized independent financial advice is a must for anyone thinking about making any form of offshore investment.  Furthermore, a number of illegal offshore investment schemes exist which target those looking to legitimately save tax by investing overseas…and it is these scheme and how to avoid falling victim to such offshore frauds that this article examines.

As fast as internet based frauds and scams are becoming understood by the general public, so those who spend their life targeting people to scam come up with new ways to steal from the vulnerable.  And by vulnerable in this case, we simply mean those people looking around for legitimate ways to save paying excess taxation on savings and income earned.

Most people now understand that the concept of placing money offshore is not illegal – but few people realize that saving and investing offshore can really only benefit the few when it comes to specifically saving tax.  There are a myriad of other benefits that can be derived from placing money or assets offshore such as asset protection for example, but most people think the offshore world is simply synonymous with saving tax.  Therefore when a seemingly friendly person contacts them and tells them about an almost too good to be true offshore investment scheme that will allow them to anonymously pool resources with other investors and save tax, some people are tempted to give it a go.

Firstly – when something seems too good to be true it probably is.  Secondly - when it comes to schemes that claim to help people save tax, everyone should be incredibly wary!  Governments do not take too kindly to those attempting to avoid paying tax – sure, we are all entitled to legitimately make use of tax breaks to reduce our tax burden, and some of us can legally save tax by investing offshore, but deliberately avoiding paying tax is not legal – no matter which country you live in, work in or herald from.

So, an offshore investment scheme that claims to be able to help you avoid tax, hide money offshore and defraud your government from taxation is not going to be legal.  This means that it will not be regulated or safe and it probably means that the people running the scheme have no intention of ever returning your money to you!

The main difference between an offshore investment scheme and an offshore investment opportunity is the legality of the entity.  Offshore investment schemes are run by anonymous companies, usually over the internet, they are not companies that can be searched, traced or who have affiliations with any legitimate and well known financial institutions.  Offshore investment opportunities on the other hand are offered via independent brokers like deVere and Partners and are backed by legitimate and reputable financial institutions such as Royal Skandia, Fidelity, Generali, Clerical Medical, Scottish Provident and Hansard to name but a few.

If you are in any doubt about the legitimacy of any offshore investment scheme you come across or even anyone who claims to be an offshore financial adviser, make sure you do sufficient due diligence on them to ensure the person you’re speaking to is legitimate, the advice you receive is legal and any scheme or investment you consider is regulated, safe and legal and appropriate for you to utilize.