Indictment Unsealed Against Six Individuals and Foreign Financial Service Firm for Tax Evasion Conspiracy
Defendants Allegedly Used ‘Singapore Solution’ to Enable U.S. Clients to Evade Taxes on Over $60 Million Hidden Offshore
An indictment was unsealed today in New York, New York, that charges offshore financial service executives and a Swiss financial services company with conspiracy to defraud the IRS by helping three large-value U.S. taxpayer-clients conceal more than $60 million in income and assets held in undeclared, offshore bank accounts and to evade U.S. income taxes.
According to the indictment, from 2009 to 2014, Ivo Bechtiger, Bernhard Lampert, Peter Rüegg, Roderic Sage, Rolf Schnellmann, Daniel Wälchli and Zurich, Switzerland-based Allied Finance Trust AG allegedly defrauded the IRS by concealing income and assets of certain U.S. taxpayer clients with undeclared bank accounts located at Privatbank IHAG (IHAG), a Swiss private bank in Zurich, Switzerland, and elsewhere. In order to assist those clients, the defendants and others allegedly devised and used a scheme called the “Singapore Solution” to conceal the bank accounts of the U.S.-based clients, their assets, and their income from U.S. authorities.
A jury recently convicted Marcin Stanislaw Garbacz, a Roman Catholic priest, of 50 counts of wire fraud, nine counts of money laundering, one count of interstate transportation of stolen money and five counts of making and subscribing a false tax return. For the tax return years 2013 through 2017, the defendant had unreported income totaling $235,818 and income tax due totaling $46,008. As a result, the district court ordered tax-based restitution to the IRS of $46,008 under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act. United States v. Garbacz.
The recent case of United States v. Garbacz reinforces the fact that the federal government often prosecutes tax violations, even violations involving relatively small amount of unpaid tax such as that involved in the case—some $46,008 over the course of five years. The case also illustrates the restitution provisions at when federal convictions involve amounts owed to the IRS.
Tax evasion penalties in Michigan are no laughing matter. It’s easier than you might expect to get yourself into trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The main thing is not to be negligent, because legally speaking, it’s no excuse. Stay on top of your taxes.
Don’t procrastinate and don’t avoid opening the mail for fear of what you might find. If you live in Michigan and find yourself in tax trouble, call Ayar Law today at (248) 262-3400 for a free and confidential consultation.
What do they mean when they say avoid tax? Can it really be avoided or is tax just a zero sum game like accounting?
The Income Tax Act has options for calculating and paying income tax. Tax is not a zero sum game. There are options to what rates are used. There are options to what number is used to calculate the tax. These options can reduce your taxes paid.
Taxpayers who do not properly report the income tax consequences of virtual currency transactions can be audited for those transactions and, when appropriate, can be liable for penalties and interest.
In more extreme situations, taxpayers could be subject to criminal prosecution for failing to properly report the income tax consequences of virtual currency transactions. Criminal charges could include tax evasion and filing a false tax return. Anyone convicted of tax evasion is subject to a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000. Anyone convicted of filing a false return is subject to a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000. Read More
The linchpin legislation of the U.S. government in its effort to combat tax evasion abroad over recent years has been the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Last week, the latest legal challenge to FATCA was thwarted when the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss the case against FATCA.
Quick FATCA Background Read More
The IRS instructions to Form 709 Gift Tax Return spell out the general rules for allocating the unified credit to prior gifts. For 2017, the annual gift tax exclusion is $14,000. That means you can give up to $14,000 to as many different people as you want as a gift without being subject to gift tax rules. Read More
Forgive the alarmist headline. But I just read Tax Justice Network (TJN)/ITEP defending FATCA again because it can raise $40 billion to $70 billion tax revenue a year for the U.S. Enough already. I hope that Tax Justice/ITEP are correct and that $70 billion a year remains to be recovered by the IRS from non-reported foreign income.
This consultation aims to gather views on whether there is a need for EU action aimed at introducing more effective disincentives for intermediaries engaged in operations that facilitate tax evasion and tax avoidance and in case there is, how it should be designed.
A little humor with some tax jokes on TaxConnections Tax Blogs.
♦ A tax attorney defended a case of tax evasion for an affluent client. He devoted over a year to the case, familiarizing himself with every loophole and angle of current legislation, and made a brilliant argument before the court. His client was called out of town when the jury returned with its verdict, a sweeping victory for his client on every count. Flushed with victory, the lawyer exuberantly sent an email to his client, “Justice has triumphed!” The client immediately emailed back, “Appeal at once!”
♦ “Ignore them and they’ll go away” is great advice for some of life’s annoyances. Unfortunately, it doesn’t apply to taxes. – Martha C. White
♦ I’ll tell you some tax jokes because I think you’d depreciate them! Read More
Carelessness on your tax return might get you whacked with a 20% penalty. But that’s nothing compared to the 75% civil penalty for willful tax fraud and possibly facing criminal charges of tax evasion that if convicted could land you in jail.
It’s one thing to make an innocent mistake on your taxes, or to overlook a tax break that could lower what you owe the IRS. While such innocent mistakes will still cost you, they usually won’t invoke the ire of the IRS to pursue criminal prosecution or assess a Civil Fraud Penalty.
When you intentionally disregard tax law, however, such willful neglect will get you in real trouble. The IRS defines “willfulness” as a voluntary, intentional violation of a known Read More