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October 6, 2020


A word of caution for those wanting to open offshore accounts

Like other Americans, some people who live here in Fort Worth want to protect the wealth they have, especially now in these uncertain times. They may consider moving their money into offshore accounts, but before doing so, they may want to understand the tax ramifications. The IRS will still expect to get its share of any monies in a foreign bank, and failing to handle the situation appropriately could result in allegations of tax fraud or evasion.

The IRS tends to discourage individuals from moving money out of the country because of the possibility that the owner may not report it and pay taxes on it. As a result, the agency and the U.S. Department of Justice make it challenging to keep money in foreign banks. For this reason, even though foreign banks may want Americans to keep their money with them, many are unable to deal with the increased scrutiny and regulations required by the United States.

Foreign banks are required to report certain information regarding account holders to the IRS in accordance with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. In addition, taxpayers are required to report the money on FinCEN Form 114 and on their federal income tax returns. Failing to do so could result in one or both of civil and criminal charges.

Anyone here in Fort Worth wanting to keep money in a foreign bank may want to make sure it is the best way to serve their interests. Understanding all the tax ramifications associated with offshore accounts would certainly help. In order to obtain the information necessary to make the best possible decision, individuals would benefit from discussing the situation with an experienced tax attorney.

Offshore Accounts/International Tax Disputes