Tax compliance is a serious issue, and with the recent FATCA updates, the government is more thorough than ever before in identifying non-compliant taxpayers among individuals who live overseas. In past years, taxpayers who were suspected of fraud were primarily targeted for investigation on an individual basis. Now however, the IRS is going after entire groups of people who are suspected of non-compliance. IRS Targets Groups of Taxpayers In Connection With Non-Compliance from freemantaxlaw
The number of countries and jurisdictions that have now signed an agreement with the United States under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has now exceeded one hundred. While this number grew slowly at first, more and more countries are climbing on board as the world realizes banking transparency is becoming a thing of the past. Over 100 Jurisdictions Effected by FATCA Regulations In 2015 from freemantaxlaw
Ever since the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), the IRS has spent increased time and resources in seeking out undisclosed income and assets among U.S. citizens living abroad. FATCA now requires foreign financial institutions including banks, investment groups, insurance programs, and employers to report information on American account holders. Over 100 countries have already signed agreements with the United States and more are in discussions with the IRS. Because of this new widespread financial transparency, taxpayers living abroad are now in the spotlight. Trouble With FATCA When Keeping Quiet About Undisclosed Offshore Assets from freemantaxlaw
FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act was passed in 2010, and has since gone into effect as of 2014. The law requires all foreign financial institutions to report information to the United States government regarding U.S. account holders. Those institutions that fail to do so face penalties of up to a 30% sanction on funds transfers from the United States. With such steep penalties on the table, many foreign financial institutions have already signed up to comply with the law. In fact, over 100 countries have signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to comply with FATCA requirements. FATCA Puts Pressure On Foreign Financial Institutions & Taxpayers from freemantaxlaw
The IRS required all withholding foreign partnerships (WFPs) and withholding foreign trusts (WFTs) to renew their status with the IRS by the end of August 2014. This is the first of several changes that effect WFPs and WFTs under the commonly referred to FATCA "Chapter 3" rules.
Great coverage has been given to the treatment of U.S. citizens at foreign financial institutions. Whether the foreign banks want the U.S. clients or not should not deter foreigners from looking to the United States for investment opportunities. Great tax advantages and tax shelters exist for immigrants and foreign investors.
The IRS offshore disclosure programs were created to bring those with unpaid taxes from their offshore accounts to rectify their errors. Intentional or not, the offshore voluntary disclosure programs (OVDP) still hit individuals with penalties ranging from 27.5-50%, but they are protected from further audit and criminal liability. The OVDP protects taxpayers from possible criminal charges stemming from tax evasion or concealing tax payment, filing false returns, and failing to file income tax returns.
The United States started the investigation in Switzerland accusing banks of aiding their clients in avoiding their tax responsibilities on Swiss Accounts. Several years later this is more than just an investigation. Billions of dollars in fines, new legislation, reporting requirements for financial institutions, and intergovernmental agreements are proof that this problem was widespread in Switzerland and other countries.
Is there a difference between trading tickets with a friend for a stay at their vacation home and scalping tickets for a big game? One you might see as a legal trade and the other as obviously illegal. To the IRS there is no difference, all are taxable. If you are casually swapping tickets you might not even think of taxes in such a small, one off trade. But scalping tickets for a huge profit, clearly the IRS is going to want its cut.
Step back from all the changes your financial institution has undertaken in the past year - Did you do the changes to increase customer satisfaction or to make the IRS happy? Chances are your organization has been in a scramble and has forgotten the key part of your business. It is possible to strengthen your client relationship and meet FATCA requirements, it just takes some planning.