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Tag Archive for Evasion

Australian Tax Office Targets Online Merchants

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has announced that it will gather information from eBay Australia & New Zealand Pty Ltd about online sales transactions totaling $10,000 or more during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 tax years.

This data will be compared with the tax returns lodged by online traders as part of a new “online selling data matching program”. ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan says: “Our online selling data matching program helps us keep a level playing field for honest businesses. ”

Taxpayers whose returns do not reflect the income from their online trading may face penalty tax and interest charges. The harvesting of data is likely to be extended to other online auction and sales sites for 2013-2014 and later years. Read more

Australian Tax Office Information Gathering Guide

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) recently released a guide on their approach to information gathering. The quite comprehensive 53 page guide provides an insight to both the principles adopted by the ATO in exercising their powers and the considerable extent of those powers.

Australia’s Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 36) confers many of the relevant information gathering powers. These powers include both the power to give formal notices requiring information to be provided and formal access powers.

For example, §263 of ITAA 36 allows an authorized ATO officer to “…at all times have full and free access to all buildings, places, books, documents and other papers” and to Read more

Australian Tax Office Issues Cash And Hidden Economy Audit Guide

The Austrailian Tax Office (ATO) today issued a new guide for advisers and their clients regarding the way in which the ATO conducts audits in the cash and hidden economy area. The guide discusses “…risk indicators to identify businesses for review or audit” that “…include results from data matching, comparisons of business information against our small business benchmarks and reports from the community”. In this connection, the ATO has an on-line evasion reporting facility that is in the Australian vernacular, known as the “dob-in line”.

In the guide the ATO reveals that much of the data they rely upon is received from third parties such as on-line auction houses. Much of this data is likely to have been gathered by bot programs that use appropriate search terms. Accordingly, it is likely they will have data Read more

US Government Crushes Beanie Babies Founder

TaxConnections Picture - Uncle Sam ShakedownThe IRS is at it again going after famous people to make big publicity splashes about their criminal prosecutions. This time, it involves 69-year-old H. Ty Warner, the inventor of Beanie Babies the craze of the 90s, for having Swiss bank accounts. The Department of Justice and IRS love to attack popular and well-known people in order to demonstrate that the government uses force against people who are “tax evaders”.

I am not arguing that Mr. Warner did not violate US tax law, but the Government once again is using the prosecution of a famous person such as Mr. Warner (previously Lauryn Hill, Wesley Snipes, Leona Helmsley, etc) to show that it will use the full force of the government to collect taxes.

The really sad part of this is that if Mr. Warner were a citizen of almost any other country, earning income in a foreign country would not be considered taxable. The US is one of only 2 countries that taxes of foreign earnings of its citizens. None of the news articles and commentary mentioned this very important fact. I am sure there are celebrations at the Department of Justice and the IRS about the great publicity and “deterrent effect” that they are getting with this prosecution. But no one is thinking about the real ultimate deterrent, that of encouraging businesses and successful business owners to stay away from the US, give up their citizenship, or form entities in any other country for tax and business reasons.

This is very sad!

In accordance with Circular 230 Disclosure

US-Swiss Agreement Puts Swiss Banks and US Non FBAR Filers at Great Risk!

Swiss Banks agreeing to US Plan for their depositors.US Persons Who Previously Held Secret Swiss Accounts Are Running a Serious Risk Unless They Make a Voluntary Disclosure ASAP!

On August 29, 2013 we posted Swiss Banks Agree to Plan to End Past US Tax Evasion Issues! where we discussed that the Swiss banks were ready to pay hefty fines for sheltering United States tax fugitives under the terms of a new deal given the green light by the Swiss government. t reflects the long-standing desire of the US to end the decades-long practice of Swiss banks, supported by their government, of providing safe haven for US tax evaders through a wall of secrecy and a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Now the details of this agreement are coming to light. The US-Swiss agreement takes the form of a plea agreement as signified by its name, “Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks.” It was signed for the United States by the US Department of Justice, not by the US Treasury Department, implying that US scrutiny of Swiss banks has progressed from tax matters to prosecution concerns. Read more