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You may find what you're looking for at Valis International. They've assisted both me and my cousin with successful setting up of US bank accounts primarily for affiliate income. Pretty straight forward although their due dilligence means faxing valid ID, utility bill, bank reference, signature card etc.. Following the US Patriotic Act (after 9/11) it seems not many alternatives are left for personal accounts.... Anyways, we're very happy with their service and the bank they're working with provide free debit card, decent (not great) online banking, OK terms and fees and of course it's FDIC insured.
Happy holidays and good luck!
(also my affiliate ID with valissavings if you feel up to using it ;-)
[edited by: lorax at 4:20 pm (utc) on Dec. 29, 2004]
[edit reason] delinked [/edit]
Remember it is you that will have to go to prison when the VAT and IR people find out, and not your accountant. If you are a UK resident you are liable to tax on your income worldwide and regardless of whether you remit it to the UK. Simple as that. And you must register for UK VAT if you are running your business (over £50K turnover) from the UK, regardless of where your internet host is located.
Tax is only due if/when you bring the funds back into the UK - the Inland Revenue are allegedly provided with all transaction details for offshore debit/credit cards used in the UK, but personally I doubt that they have the staff, systems or organisational capability to police this.