For many decades, Switzerland has held the gold standard in banking secrecy. No one would know if you had accounts there and many investors with financial interests in the United States – U.S. citizens or otherwise – used this loophole to avoid taxation of large sums.
The long-held tradition of Swiss banking secrecy has changed of late. In 2009, the Swiss banking giant UBS agreed to turn over details on 4,450 accounts that were suspected of holding undeclared assets from American customers. Then, in 2010, the Swiss Parliament endorsed this transfer to the IRS of confidential UBS data on American bank clients who were suspected of tax evasion.
What Will the Legislative Change in Switzerland Mean to You?
These policy and legislative changes open the door to legal troubles for tax evaders with hidden offshore accounts. If you or your business are affected or potentially affected by this new level of international cooperation between the Swiss government and the IRS, you are urged to get qualified legal counsel promptly.
"We've been getting better and better at detecting offshore accounts. Therefore, the risk [of investors with hidden offshore investments] being caught is increasing," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. "We now have a number of other banks under investigation based on information we received from our first round of disclosures and from other sources. Tax secrecy continues to erode." (Source: irs.gov)
Previously, to investigate offshore bank accounts, an investigator needed detailed information including the full name of the account holder, the address and a Social Security number. Under the new legislation, an account holder's name is sufficient. This newly relaxed law allows foreign governments, including the United States and other countries, to find tax cheats and bring them to justice.
Come Clean With Impunity
If you have evaded taxes by keeping assets offshore, now is the best time to come clean with the IRS. Through the second voluntary disclosure initiative, the IRS encourages and allows taxpayers to come clean without risk of prosecution. This program is in place until August 31, 2011. Brown, PC, has helped a number of clients get their houses in order with minimal negative consequences.
Doing nothing, on the other hand, may lead to huge penalties and imprisonment. If you face tax liability related to your offshore banking, attorney Lawrence Brown, a former trial lawyer for the Department of Justice Tax Division, can help. Mr. Brown has more than 20 years of experience in complex tax litigation and representation before the IRS. Brown, PC, is prepared to aggressively protect your rights and advocate for your best interests regarding previously hidden offshore accounts.
Brown, PC, serves individuals and businesses in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, statewide in Texas, and nationwide. Contact Lawrence Brown at 888-870-0025 to arrange a confidential consultation about your impending IRS audit or appeal.
View our IRS audit success stories.Print this Page