Lets say a person has a chunk of cash, say 25 thousand. He also doesn’t want anyone finding out he has the money. Is there any safe place for it other than burying it in the backyard? I mean like some sort of private bank that doesn’t give out any information about its depositors?
Sounds like the traditional swiss bank account would work. Or any of the other countries that have sprung up with similar restrictions on revealing account information.
And you can set it up online!
FedEx it to FranticMad, c/o StraightDope.
It’s an interesting question and I assume by “anyone” you mean the IRS, a creditor or an ex-wife or some other party that would be similarly interested in your finances. Unless you establish a false identity of some kind, any funds you deposit in a US institution will require a name or SS# or corporate ID that will allow the IRS or others to trace you.
The only thing I can think of is to buy some valuable object for cash that you can redeem at face (or near face) value without needing to produce ID or have your identity verified. I can’t really think of anything like meets this criteria though.
Off-shore banks (the Camen islands are big on this) in addition to Swiss banks will not reveal account information to anyone. Of course, the IRS or other creditors will still try and catch you with that money…not reporting your money to the IRS is a crime. Keeping it in a Swiss account may make it harder for the IRS to figure out you have it and they may not be able to seize your money but they can throw you in jail anyway if they can prove you are holding out on them and there are ways they can still prove this (i.e. you own a $500,000 house and drive a Ferrari but claim an income of $25,000/year).
Safe deposit box. But if you want it to draw interest then an offshore account. Swiss account information can be obtained by IRS.
$25,000 is 250 hundreds. (Assuming the best likely scenario, given that denominations above the hundred are exceedingly rare.) How much would 250 American bills weigh? How much volume would they take up?
I know that a safe deposit box or twenty is probably the best solution, being much more secure than hiding it under your bed or burying it in the garden, but perhaps some discretion would still be in order: Renting n many boxes for long-term storage of unspecified objects right after that Brinks truck was knocked over? Cases have been built around less, bucko.
In Australia each state has a TAB which is a former government owned betting agency. I know a telephone operator who works there taking bets over the phone. She says that when you have a bet all your account details come up on the screen in front of her. Several times she has seen accounts were someone has deposited tens of thousands of dollars but only bets afew dollars a day. She assumes those people are hiding money from their spouse. It’s perfectly safe, no statements are sent out and you can withdraw cash at any branch anytime you want. Each account has a code number, account number and for internet access a password. You can open one here if you like.
Years ago Austrian banks used to have accounts available where the only proof of your right to the funds was the passbook. Lose that and bad luck because there was no name attached to the account.