It was an ordinary day several years ago when I logged into one of my business bank accounts. I was expecting a transfer and knew exactly how much the balance should be. While my transfer had indeed arrived, I was shocked to see over $1,300 missing for no reason.
Was it a bank error?
Was I the victim of these identity thieves the media was always reporting about?
What had happened?
It turned out the perpetrator was none other than… the State of California.
Back then, I was young and naive.
I did business across the country and had even lived in California briefly. Wanting to be a good little boy, I paid my $800 annual incorporation tax to the state’s mafia, ie: the Franchise Tax Board.
Never mind that this tax has been ruled unconstitutional; they’re very diligent about collecting it. And while I had indeed paid in full, someone forgot to tell them that. They levied my bank account for the $800 plus fees and interest.
The truth can be a hard thing for people to hear. Especially if those people work at perhaps the most relentless taxing authority on the planet. It took me hundreds of dollars in accountant’s time and a full day of time time to correct the error and get my $1,300 back.
No apology, nothing.
And certainly no refund for my costs, the bank’s fees, or my time.
The good news is, it was only $1,300, and after some wasted time, I got it back. Such is dealing with the government. But what if it’s more than $1,300? What it what they’re taking is your entire life’s savings? What if they shut down your business?
If you think it won’t happen, think again.
Churches, natural health companies, precious metals dealers… they’ve all been targeted, and had their accounts frozen or seized, by the government. In 2011, U.S. government agents dressed up in SWAT gear and raided a farm selling raw milk, taking product and cash with them.
In 2008, local courts froze millions of dollars in assets of a church in South Carolina when a member accused the head of the church of rape. In 2010, an Arizona mortgage company was raided by the FBI, had all of the office equipment seized and their doors padlocked; the FBI admitted they were wrong and let them re-open weeks later after the damage had already been done.
I personally know of several natural food and health companies who have been entirely bankrupted by the government’s heavy hand, only for them to sometimes come back and say, “Oops”. And when they don’t, you may be on your own to prove your innocence.
The definition of what’s legal and illegal is very flexible. More so, who is targeted is even more flexible. You may think selling raw milk to friends and family sounds pretty harmless, but perhaps not if government thugs have anything to say about it.
A health supplement company with happy customers shouldn’t be Public Enemy #1, but the wake of financial devastation left by the government may make them feel like they were.
I would never encourage any type of illegal activity. But you never know what a power-hungry government will do next.
Today, they are as happy to waive their assault rifles in the face of five-year-old Cuban refugees as they are whole foods advocates. That’s why my first step to become a Nomad Capitalist is to maintain a bank account out of your home country.
If you’re a citizen of the U.S. or several other countries, you’ll have to declare it to the tax authorities. But you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you always have a backup plan.