In the recent years, there has been a steady increase in the use of crowdfunding platforms (e.g., kickstarter.com and crowdfunder.com). Such platforms allow any Internet user to receive funding for his/her projects. Quite often, the initiators of crowdfunding projects collect a lot of money. For example, in 2015, a color e-paper smartwatch collected more than USD 20 millions through kickstarter.com.
The taxation in some developed countries may cool down the enthusiasm of a person whose crowdfunding project was successful. For example, in France, the personal income tax goes up to 45%. Hence, if the initiator of the aforementioned crowdfunding project for a smartwatch is based in France, he/she may need to pay approximately USD 9 millions to the French government in the form of personal income tax.
Since the territorial location of the initiator of a crowdfunding project is often not important for the success of the project, the initiator can avoid paying any income taxes by moving to a tax haven before launching the project. It should be noted that, in order to avoid tax liability in the country of departure, the initiator should start the crowdfunding project after the expiration of certain time period (usually six months) commencing on the date of departure.
The choice of a tax haven depends on several factors, including, but not limited to, the proximity of the tax haven to the habitual residence of the individual, the prices of the accommodation, the political stability, and the lack of fees for a residence permit. In relation to the latter factor, it should be noted that some tax havens impose high permit fees. For example, Seychelles charges a residence permit fee amounting at about EUR 10,000.
Once the future initiator of a crowdfunding project settles in the right tax haven, he/she may launch the crowdfunding campaign without worrying about any taxes. Taking into account the high personal and corporate taxation in the developed countries, the tax havens may become the new crowdfunding centers.
In Kickstarter.com, one can already find crowdfunding projects initiated by persons located in Dubai, Virgin Islands, Mauritius, and Costa Rica. In Dubai, for example, a crowdfunding project related to a pocket TV generated more than USD 500,000. The pocket TV is thumb-size micro-computer. Once connected to the port of any TV, the pocket TV transforms the TV to an Android Smart TV.
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