As Banks sign NPA the time is running out for U.S. Taxpayers to enter the IRS’s Voluntary Disclosure Program before faced with criminal charges for avoiding paying taxes on off-shore accounts.
Jeffrey S. Freeman, J.D., LL.M
February 2014 – Swiss Banks were given a deadline of December 31, 2013 to enter into a Non-Prosecution Agreements (NPA) with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Banks that chose to enter into a NPA have reason to believe that they committed tax related offenses connected with undeclared U.S. accounts. As part of the agreement Swiss banks are required to disclose account information and client identities to the DOJ.
It is important for U.S. Taxpayers to realize that the IRS and DOJ will then be able to use this information to investigate and prosecute U.S. taxpayers that have undisclosed offshore accounts. This is a huge gain for the IRS and DOJ efforts to identify and locate taxpayers that have evaded paying taxes on unidentified assets. The IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative, states, “The disclosure by Swiss banks of U.S. persons with foreign bank accounts is a huge gain…to locate U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed and untaxed assets located offshore. Anyone who has such accounts faces severe civil and criminal risk by not coming forward at this time.” U.S. taxpayers will be brought back into compliance with or without their cooperation and are encouraged to come forward and voluntarily disclose their offshore funds.
In a recent case in Virginia the 4th Circuit accused a couple of civil contempt for withholding Swiss Bank account records. The couple was asked to provide records for the last five years for their foreign bank account. The Treasury Department offshore banking laws require the maintenance of such records. When the couple attempted to cite their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and not produce records of their offshore accounts the court found that the Fifth Amendment privilege is inapplicable as “the records in question have ‘public aspects’ sufficient to satisfy the third prong of the required records doctrine.”
If you are concerned about your undisclosed foreign accounts contact Jeffrey Freeman of Freeman Tax Law. Representing clients with a variety of backgrounds and professions he has successfully negotiated and resolved complex tax controversies for his clients before the IRS and in the Federal Court system, U.S. Tax Court, State Tax Courts, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
About Freeman Tax Law
Freeman Tax Law is a boutique tax law firm with national exposure equipped to handle all domestic and international tax law matters. At Freeman Tax Law, the attorneys and professional staff have vast experience with foreign tax compliance, international tax planning, and resolving tax controversies involving offshore banking matters. Freeman Tax Law helps taxpayers and foreign entities become in compliance with laws such as Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The Freeman Tax Law team also has extensive expertise in assisting clients with wealth management and estate planning.
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