Undeclared accounts are the latest bane for Swiss banks, which are being pushed to the brink by U.S. authorities to release details of their U.S. accountholders who park assets there in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Many Swiss banks have what are referred to derogatively as, “recalcitrant accountholders.” Recalcitrant accountholders are those who, despite the bank’s prodding, refuse to report their foreign accounts to the IRS. Very simply, this group is what stands in the way of a “cooperating” bank opening up the kimono – i.e., by sending the U.S. government the records of its U.S. accountholders – and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: immunity from prosecution and overbearing penalties. Soon, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will change all that. If the United States’ demands to expose tax-evaders are fulfilled, all data on these recalcitrant Read more
Tag Archive for OVDP
The new revisions to the US offshore voluntary disclosure initiative, which we posted on 6/18/14 “IRS Makes Changes to Offshore Programs; Revisions Ease Burden and Help More Taxpayers Come into Compliance“, now provides for and increased 50% FBAR Penalties for ‘Willful’ Non-Disclosers.
This group includes those individuals who have offshore bank accounts with a foreign financial institution which has been publicly identified as being under investigation, or is cooperating with a government investigation. IRS has published a list of those foreign financial institutions or facilitators.
The complete list is as follows: Read more
What is this phenomenon known as double counting? Why is it important? If you are shepherding clients through the OVDP program, or you are going through the program yourself, it is critical that you understand what it means and the governing principles behind it. Otherwise, you could be paying an offshore penalty that is exponentially higher than what it ought to be.
This article will explain the principles behind double counting and what type of supporting evidence the taxpayer must produce in order to prove double counting to the satisfaction of the IRS. As is my ordinary practice, I will make use of a hypothetical.
As a refresher, the offshore penalty is determined by isolating the highest aggregate Read more
According to Bloomberg (subscription required) The Department of Justice Tax Division is ramping up an intense crackdown on offshore tax evasion, and people hiding assets overseas should come forward as soon as possible, an agency official said March 6, 2015. Caroline D. Ciraolo , principal deputy assistant attorney general for policy and planning at the division said:
“Time is of the essence,”
“Come in now or face the consequences.”
Speaking at the Federal Bar Association Tax Law Conference, Ciraolo said the government’s reach has extended far beyond Switzerland to jurisdictions including: Read more
You’ve submitted your OVDP letter and attachments to the Voluntary Disclosure Coordinator and are reclining in your arm chair watching the “big game” while opening up the day’s mail. The upper left-hand corner of one of the envelopes in your pile is adorned with the IRS’s logo. You open it up. The letter is but a few paragraphs long and as you start glancing at it you breathe a sigh of relief. It says that your disclosure has been preliminarily accepted by CI as timely.
It provides instructions for the second phase: completing and submitting the full voluntary disclosure package to the Austin Campus within 90 days of the date of the timeliness determination (and cooperating with the examiner in resolving all civil liability). You’ve made it this far, but you are uncertain about what is meant by a “full voluntary disclosure Read more
Since 2009 the IRS campaign against unreported income and undisclosed foreign accounts has morphed from a focus on Swiss banks and large accounts to a kind of everyman’s tax disclosure. But keep in mind that just like when the net is lowered into the water it catches all sizes of fish – the IRS states no undisclosed foreign account is too small to avoid penalties. Many people have problems sleeping because of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the filing requirements of Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR).
FATCA was enacted in 2010 and the IRS has touted that FATCA has been successful so far. The IRS states they have collected US$6.5 billion and they reasonably believe that Read more
On a recent airplane trip from the Bay Area to Southern California, I sat beside a distinguished-looking elderly man. I initiated a conversation with him and found out he was a former judge now living in Mexico. We talked about everything, including taxation.
The former judge admitted that he was an American citizen and he and some of his friends have problems sleeping because of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). So, I asked him what about Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR), as that was more serious than FATCA. But he had never heard about it. I wondered how many people are like the former judge and his friends who can’t sleep at night because of FATCA and who never heard of FBAR. Read more
IRS Extended A Sweetheart Deal On Valentine’s Day To U.S. Taxpayers With Undisclosed Foreign Bank Accounts
On June 18, 2014, the IRS announced major changes in the 2012 offshore account compliance programs, providing new options to help taxpayers residing in the United States and overseas. The changes are anticipated to provide thousands of people a new avenue to come back into compliance with their tax obligations and would largely waive these penalties if taxpayers come forward and show that they didn’t hide the money on purpose.
Separate from United States income tax returns, many U.S. persons are required to file with the U.S. Treasury a return commonly known as an “FBAR” (or Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts; known as FinCEN Form 114), listing all non-US bank and financial accounts. These forms are required if on any day of any calendar year an Read more
The media has obtained the names of HSBC account holders, some of which will be named in a TV program to be shown by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The HSBC files, the biggest banking leak in history, reveal the full scale of malpractice at its Swiss subsidiary, as more fully discussed in out post
Another Offshore Whistle Blower – Former HSBC Employee! Recent court cases in the US and Europe have provided individual examples of the bank’s wrongdoing, but the leaked files show how these cases were part of a persistent pattern of misconduct.
At its height, HSBC’s secretive Swiss arm hid a total of $120bn (£78bn) in assets. These funds were collected from wealthy clients all over the world and have already led to Read more
When looking for a picture for this post, I came across this one and remembered my college English Professor. She really loved the term, “Freudian Slip” for some reason! All I knew then was that Sigmund Freud was the father of psychoanalysis but I never quite understood how that related to a Business English class, unless that was the Professor’s way of telling us we were driving her nuts! Now I know that the term, “Freudian Slip” is a “mistake in speech that shows what the speaker is truly thinking” or “to do what one is truly thinking about”.
No, this post is not about defining psychoanalytic terms, dare I say more interesting than tax stuff? Not quite, but this post is about the latest buzz from the Internal Revenue Service, about some situations US taxpayers having foreign accounts might be in and their Read more
Hiding Money or Income Offshore Among the “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for the 2015 Filing Season
The Internal Revenue Service announced in IR-2015-09, Jan. 28, 2015 that avoiding taxes by hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on its annual list of tax scams known as the “Dirty Dozen” for the 2015 filing season.
“The recent string of successful enforcement actions against offshore tax cheats and the financial organizations that help them shows that it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers are best served by coming in voluntarily and getting their taxes and filing requirements in order.”
Since the first Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) opened in 2009, there have been more than 50,000 disclosures and we have collected more than $7 billion from Read more
In a recent IR published on January 28, 2015, the IRS said that avoiding taxes by hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on its “annual list of scams known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’ for the 2015 filing season.” The article is quoted below:
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today said avoiding taxes by hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on its annual list of tax scams known as the “Dirty Dozen” for the 2015 filing season.
“The recent string of successful enforcement actions against offshore tax cheats and the financial organizations that help them shows that it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers are best served by coming Read more