Global Tax Enforcement

Global Tax Enforcement

Commentary on Tax Enforcement, News and Developments

Category Archives: Voluntary Disclosure

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Ex-Israeli Banker Indicted for Assisting Americans in Tax Fraud

Posted in Offshore, OVDP, Swiss bank accounts, Tax Evasion, Voluntary Disclosure
On April 30, 2014, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles, California, indicted Shokrollah Baravarian for Klein conspiracy: conspiracy to defraud the United States by impairing and impeding the IRS. According to the indictment, Baravarian, a former senior vice president at the Los Angeles branch of a bank headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, widely believed … Continue Reading

Fugitive Swiss Banker Returns to U.S. and Enters Guilty Plea

Posted in Offshore, OVDP, Swiss bank accounts, Tax Evasion, Voluntary Disclosure
On April 30, 2014, Josef Dorig, 72, of Switzerland, pleaded guilty in federal district court in Alexandria, Virginia, to a single count of Klein conspiracy: conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by impairing and impeding the IRS.  According to the agreed statement of facts that accompanied the plea agreement, Dorig owned a trust company and helped … Continue Reading

India Agrees “In Substance” to Model 1 FATCA IGA

Posted in FATCA, HSBC, Offshore, OVDP, Tax Evasion, Voluntary Disclosure
The U.S. Treasury announced that on April 11, 2014, India agreed “in substance” to sign a Model 1 FATCA IGA with the US. The IGA would therefore require Indian financial institutions to report information on U.S. account holders to India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes, which would then share the information with the IRS.  There is … Continue Reading

Swiss Investment Adviser to Plead Guilty to Helping Americans Evade Taxes

Posted in Offshore, OVDP, Swiss bank accounts, Tax Evasion, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
Multiple outlets are reporting that on February 26, 2014, Martin Lack, a Swiss investment adviser and former UBS banker, will plead guilty in the Southern District of Florida to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by helping his U.S. customers evade their income taxes.  This comes on the heels of the February … Continue Reading

U.S. Signs Four More FATCA IGA’s

Posted in FATCA, Offshore, OVDP, Tax Evasion, Voluntary Disclosure
On February 5, 2014, the Treasury Department announced that it had recently concluded FATCA IGA’s with Canada, Hungary, Italy, and Mauritius.  All four agreements were reciprocal Model 1 agreements.  In other words, FFI’s in those countries will report information on U.S. account holders to their own governments for transfer to the IRS.  The IRS will … Continue Reading

Beanie Babies Creator Seeks Probation for $107 Million UBS Account

Posted in Offshore, OVDP, Swiss bank accounts, Tax Evasion, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
The Chicago Tribune reports that Beanie Babies creator Ty Warner, who pleaded guilty last year to one of the largest tax frauds in Chicago-area history, has asked the federal court to sentence him to probation. His sentencing is scheduled for January 14, 2014.  In 1996, Warner opened a Swiss bank account at UBS, which held … Continue Reading

Cayman Islands and U.S. Sign FATCA IGA

Posted in FATCA, Offshore, OVDP, Tax Evasion, Voluntary Disclosure
On November 29, 2013, the Cayman Islands and the U.S. Signed a FATCA IGA.  The Cayman Islands IGA is a Model 1B agreement, meaning that FFIs in the Cayman Islands will be required to report tax information about U.S. account holders directly to the Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority.  The Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority … Continue Reading

Voluntary Disclosures Lead to John Doe Summonses for Information about U.S. Accounts at Zurcher Kantonalbank and Bank of Butterfield

Posted in Offshore, OVDP, Tax Evasion, Voluntary Disclosure
In a sign that the U.S. government continues to aggressively seek information on U.S. taxpayers with non-U.S. bank accounts, the government announced on November 12, 2013, that it had obtained a court order authorizing the government to issue so-called “John Doe summonses” for information on U.S. account holders at Zurcher Kantonalbank in Switzerland and Bank … Continue Reading

IRS Official Announces Crackdown on U.S. Taxpayers with Unreported Indian Accounts

Posted in Offshore, OVDP, Tax Evasion, Voluntary Disclosure
Tax Analysts Tax Notes reports that the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division’s special enforcement program (SEP) will soon begin examining U.S. taxpayers suspected of holding undeclared accounts in Indian banks.  An IRS official announced on November 9, 2013, that the SEP team is preparing for the next phase of the IRS’s offshore compliance crackdown.  After receiving … Continue Reading

Taxpayer Advocate Continues to Criticize Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs

Posted in FATCA, Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud, Voluntary Disclosure
In an update to her December 2012 report, the Taxpayer Advocate has noted that the IRS still has not provided reasonable options for “benign actors”, or taxpayers who inadvertently violated the rules for reporting foreign accounts.  The Taxpayer Advocate noted that the IRS revocation of pre-clearance letters had damaged IRS credibility and might lead to … Continue Reading

The 2012 FBAR Filing Deadline is June 30, 2013

Posted in Tax Controversy, Voluntary Disclosure
U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2012 must file Treasury Department Form TD F 90-22.1 (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) with the Treasury Department by June 30, 2013.  The form must be received by the Treasury Department on or before June 30, 2013.  This year, June 30 … Continue Reading

IRS and DOJ Losing Patience with Taxpayers with Undisclosed Foreign Accounts

Posted in HSBC, Tax Controversy, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
The assistant US attorney general for the Tax Division, Kathryn Keneally, recently indicated that the window for avoiding criminal prosecution related to undeclared foreign accounts may be closing soon.  At a roundtable discussion at the University of Southern California’s annual tax institute, Ms. Keneally indicated that waiting to disclose offshore accounts is extremely dangerous.  If … Continue Reading

IRS Releases New Timeline for FATCA Implementation

Posted in FATCA, Voluntary Disclosure
The IRS released Announcement 2012-42 today, delaying the deadlines for certain steps in FATCA implementation, and better aligning the deadlines in regulations with those under the model intergovernmental agreements.  Announcement 2012-42 was issued in response to numerous comments received from financial institutions, trade associations, and foreign governments regarding the proposed regulations for implementing FATCA (see … Continue Reading

IRS Issues Updated Guidance for 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

Posted in FATCA, HSBC, Tax Controversy, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
On June 26, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released new FAQ’s on the current Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”) . The IRS opened the current OVDP on January 9, 2012, but, other than announcing the new FBAR penalty of 27.5%, had not issued updated guidance, leaving practitioners and taxpayers to rely on the 2011 … Continue Reading

Careful Attention to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Cases

Posted in HSBC, Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
Baker Hostetler’s lawyers have handled hundreds of voluntary disclosures through the 2009 and 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs (OVDI).  Recently, the IRS has announced a third OVDI, this time with no defined termination date. The OVDI programs provide important protections for those who might face criminal prosecution for unreported income or unfiled informational returns.  The … Continue Reading

IRS Announces A Third Voluntary Disclosure Initiative

Posted in HSBC, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
The IRS formal program for making voluntary disclosures of offshore accounts and unreported foreign income has been reopened.  This is the third in a series of voluntary disclosure programs announced by the IRS.  This newest program reinstates fixed penalty amounts for taxpayers who agree to amend prior tax returns and pay taxes due and file … Continue Reading

IRS Grants Additional Time To File FBARs

Posted in HSBC, Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
Today, the IRS announced an extension until November 1, 2011 for taxpayers who did not file TD F 90-22.1 (FBARs) forms in prior years.  For those taxpayers who only had signatory authority over a foreign account and did not own the account in 2009 or prior years, additional time has been granted to gather the necessary information … Continue Reading

John Doe Summons Granted for US Account Holders at HSBC

Posted in HSBC, Tax Fraud, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has granted the Department of Justice request to allow the IRS to issue a John Doe Summons on HSBC-India.  The government seeks records of U.S. taxpayers who hold accounts at the bank.  The evidence supporting the court petition suggests HSBC India was engaged in activity that … Continue Reading

More Taxpayers Face Indictments For Undeclared UBS Accounts

Posted in Tax Fraud, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
Over the last two weeks, the Department of Justice announced a number of indictments and plea agreements involving taxpayers who had undeclaired off-shore accounts.  Several of these cases involved UBS account holders who either failed to make voluntary disclosures in a timely manner or were caught by the IRS prior to any action being taken to come clean.  … Continue Reading