The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has joined in the fight against tax evasion. A recent case involving a Swiss bank provides an example of the government’s interagency efforts to hold those who evade tax obligations accountable for their wrongdoing. The agency has reached a settlement with the Swiss bank after it states the bank admitted to “conspiring to defraud the United States on taxes, commit tax evasion and file false federal tax returns from 2002 through 2012.”
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas recently announced an obstetrician gynecologist out of Houston, Texas agreed to a plea deal after facing allegations of tax evasion. The government accused the physician of failing to file income tax returns for the last twenty years.
Retirement is a time to get out there and explore. You have planned, saved and taken steps to ensure you are healthy enough to make the most of this stage of life. Why not use this well-earned time to enjoy a different part of the world?
Over the last decade, offshore account compliance has been at the top of the IRS priority list. The first of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs began in 2009. The strong interest led the IRS to create several iterations over the years.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a tool the government uses to help better ensure United States citizens comply with tax obligations. This law requires foreign financial institutions to report information about United States customers to the U.S. government. Under this law, a foreign bank must report any account containing assets at or above $50,000.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently published a tax filing reminder to United States citizens and resident aliens living abroad. Although the tax filing was originally due on April 18, the IRS allows an extension through June 15 in one of two situations. The first applies for those who have their residence outside of the United States. The second, for those serving in the military. The tax payer must indicate which situation applies in a statement attached to their return in order to receive this extension.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) will come to an end in September of 2018. The OVDP was essentially a set of rules that outlined how United States taxpayers could voluntarily come into compliance with tax obligations for foreign assets. In exchange for voluntarily bringing these obligations into compliance, the taxpayer would face minimal penalties. This often-included freedom from criminal persecution.
Entrepreneurs know that paperwork can become unmanageable while running a business. Business owners are constantly making decisions on which material to keep and which to shred. But what if you inadvertently shred important tax documents or fail to file taxes at all? The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently addressed this question.
SCOTUS recently heard oral arguments on a case involving a New York businessman convicted of several counts of tax evasion for failing to pay personal or company taxes for a number of years. The government presented evidence that Carlo Marinello II purposely destroyed business records (including bank statements, receipts, employee time sheets and bills), paid his employees in cash to avoid tax issues, never issued tax documents like W-2 forms, and didn't fail tax returns for nearly 20 years.
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.