We were curious how hard it would be to set up an offshore company, so this summer we bought two. We at Planet Money are now the proud owners of "Unbelizable Inc." in Belize and "Delawho? LLC" in Delaware. The whole process was quick and easy.
At least that's how it seemed at first — until we got an email from David Buckley, a tax lawyer at Rogin Nassau, telling us we had just walked into an IRS sinkhole.
Buckley described it as "a minefield of U.S. tax obligations," and he said he was worried about me. (The companies are in my name.)
According to a Senate investigations subcommittee, Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and other multinational corporations took advantage of an ambiguous U.S. tax code to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.
We also have a correction for you this morning. Two reports in our air in recent days listed Americans who do not pay income taxes, and those lists included mentions of active duty-military service members. Those statements were too broad.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Military personnel do pay federal income tax. But there are exemptions for some, including those who are serving in designated combat zones.