IRS Commissioner Announces The Agency Is On Track To Meet FATCA Deadline Of July 1, 2014 To Enforce Compliance Of Foreign Banks To Disclose U.S. Account Holders To IRS
Last week, IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, announced that the agency is right on track in implementing the non-discretionary legislative mandates of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which is more commonly known as FATCA. The significance of this law enacted as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act of 2010, P.L. 111-147, requires foreign financial institutions to tell the IRS about accounts owned by U.S. citizens. Those banks who fail to comply will be subject to 30% withholding on U.S. sourced investments. With this information, the IRS can do a much better job of combating offshore tax evasion. The Commissioner stated that it is the agency’s goal to make it more and more difficult for Americans to hide their money in a tax haven to avoid paying taxes. FATCA withholding goes into effect July 1, 2014.
Foreign banks will not want their returns from U.S. investments to be subject to any withholding by the IRS; therefore, if a foreign bank is to keep its U.S. account holders, they will now report U.S. account holders directly to IRS to be in compliance with FATCA.
The net that the IRS has cast will catch not only those wealthy taxpayers with fancy lawyers and accountants but also any average U.S. taxpayer who has undisclosed foreign bank accounts and unreported foreign income. The Commissioner affirmed that no longer will any U.S. taxpayer be able to hide their money in foreign countries and avoid paying their fair share to support the operations of the government.
Federal tax law requires U.S. taxpayers to pay taxes on all income earned worldwide. U.S. taxpayers must also report foreign financial accounts if the total value of the accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. Willful failure to report a foreign account can result in a fine of up to 50% of the amount in the account at the time of the violation and may even result in the IRS filing criminal charges.
If you have never reported your foreign investments on your U.S. Tax Returns, you should seriously consider participating in the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI). Once the IRS contacts you, you cannot get into this program and would be subject to the maximum penalties (civil and criminal) under the tax law. Taxpayers who hire an experienced tax attorney in Offshore Account Voluntary Disclosures should result in avoiding any pitfalls and gaining the maximum benefits conferred by this program.
Protect yourself from excessive fines and possible jail time. Let the tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere in California qualify you for OVDI.
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