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Tax Evasion Archives

Another massive leak brings attention to use of offshore accounts

Offshore accounts are in the news again. Another massive data leak, this one referred to as the Paradise Papers, has resulted in the disclosure of the identity of a number of people and businesses that use these accounts. So what have we discovered from this most recent leak? Basically, we are coming to realize that these accounts are fairly common.

Two lessons about shell corporations from the Manafort case

Shell corporations get a bad rap. There are situations when a shell corporation is not just legal, but makes good financial sense. Navigating through the legal intricacies that distinguish the legitimate use of a shell corporation from the illegal can be difficult. A recent case provides an example of an individual that allegedly failed to make this distinction.

German “James Bond” busted for tax evasion

It seems like a plot from a blockbuster action movie. A man takes on a position as a deep undercover agent, a spy for Germany. He blends into the criminal underworld, gathering evidence to support the arrest and conviction of drug dealers, diamond smugglers and terrorists all over the world. He helps negotiate the release of hostages and stops the dumping of 41 barrels of toxic chemicals. He was so good at his job that he earned the nickname, the German “James Bond.”

Subtle but important differences between avoidance and evasion

Accusations of tax evasion are very serious. Not only do they come with the social stigma associated with the word "evasion," wherein others may think you were attempting to game the system to get out of paying your fair share, but they also could result in serious criminal penalties like:

Congress repeatedly notifies IRS about digital currency issues

Digital currency, such as Bitcoin, has gained in popularity over recent years. As a result, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is scrambling to update tax rules and regulations to address this new form of currency. The federal agency was recently chastised twice by Congress for its handling of digital transactions. The concerns were voiced in two separate letters, sent within three weeks of each other.

The Messi tax evasion case, part 2: implications for offshore compliance

In part one of this post, we took note of the unsuccessful appeal by soccer star Lionel Messi of his tax fraud conviction.His attempt to claim lack of knowledge of his father's use of shell companies to hide income didn't go over well with the appeals court. The court upheld Lionel Messi's 21-month conviction, even as it reduced his father's sentence to 15 months due to cooperation with authorities. What does the resolution of the Messi case tell us about tax compliance and enforcement, particularly regarding offshore accounts?

The Messi case, part 1: appeals court affirms tax fraud conviction

A year ago, the soccer star Lionel Messi was on the coveted cover of Sports Illustrated (SI). SI touted the success of his professional team and an upcoming match called the Copa America.What a difference a year makes. This week's news about Messi is that an appeals court has affirmed his conviction on tax fraud charges.In this two-part post, we will use a Q & A format to discuss what can U.S. taxpayers learn, as a cautionary tale, from the Messi case.

Struggling businesses and trust fund penalties: a Texas case

The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) is a powerful IRS tool for going after certain individuals who are considered personally responsible for a business's unpaid employment taxes.We discussed it in considerable detail in an article on which parties can be held responsible.In today's post, let's consider a Texas case that illustrates how this penalty can play out in practice.

Tax inversions: Treasury ordered to review regulations

More than 30 years have passed since Congress passed reform of the federal tax code in President Reagan's second term. The question of whether such reform can happen this year, during President Trump's first term, will be getting plenty of attention in the coming days. Somewhat beneath the radar, however, is a more specific set of issues regarding the review of regulations on so-called tax inversion transactions. In the last few years, numerous U.S. companies have used such transactions - involving the acquisition of a foreign partner and reincorporation abroad -to avoid U.S. income tax.

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