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March 2016 Archives

Banking prosecutions expand to Cayman Islands

For the past decade U.S. government investigators have been ferreting out hidden financial accounts across the world. Much has been written about Department of Justice agreements with Swiss banks starting with UBS. Last year, the agency finalized the last of the non-prosecution agreements under the Swiss Bank Program that involved almost 80 banks.

Criminal tax enforcement: What is the impact of IRS budget cuts?

One of the threads we’ve been following in this blog is the effect of IRS budget cuts on tax enforcement.It’s widely known that the overall number of audits is down. But what about criminal investigations?Nearly a year ago, we noted that despite the budget problems caused by a lack of Congressional funding, the number of criminal investigations actually seemed to be increasing. We wrote about that in our April 29 post last year.What has happened in the last year? In this post, we will update on the story.

How does the foreign tax credit work?

A lot has been written about the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) disclosure requirements. The Internal Revenue Service has placed a lot of emphasis on offshore tax compliance. As more people realize they need to report foreign financial accounts, the number of these FBARs filed last year reached 1,163,229.

Using private industry to collect tax debt: When will the new program start?

It's been a few months now since Congress passed a bill to require the IRS to use private debt collectors in certain cases. The National Taxpayer Advocate and other critics contended that the bill was not a good idea because two previous efforts to use private industry to collect tax debt had failed to raise revenue and put taxpayers at risk of abusive debt collect methods. But the bill passed and the president signed it. How are implementation efforts going?

Can you report a foreign bank account using Turbo Tax?

Going through the prompts on Turbo Tax is straightforward until you reach the question about whether you have a foreign bank account. If you answer yes, you need to understand that the failure to disclose could open you to serious civil penalties.

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