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IRS Targets Americans Living In Israel!

Americans with Israeli bank or other financial accounts could face a tough tax season in 2014 if they do not come forward and disclose their assets to the IRS.  Recently, Israeli banks have come under increased scrutiny by the IRS in regards to disclosing the accounts of their American clients.  In particular, three Israeli banks- Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi and Mizrahi Tefahot- are under investigation by the Department of Justice.  To avoid prosecution, many other Israeli banks will begin turning over information as early as July 2014.

The prompt release of U.S. accountholder information by Israeli banks is a result of the IRS’s efforts to fully implement the 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) which requires foreign banks and financial institutions to report the assets of their American account holders.  Lack of compliance, banks were warned, would limit their ability to do business in America.  FATCA was passed as part of the U.S. government’s effort to crack down on U.S. tax evaders.  Initially, the IRS concentrated its efforts on Swiss Banks.

This focus has led to an increase in the enforcement of the requirement that Americans and American residents file a Foreign Bank Account Report on every account held abroad that is worth more than $10,000. As the IRS cracks down on offshore accounts and on suspected fraud from overseas, Israel faces extra scrutiny. A recent report issued by the Government Accountability Office found that 4% of the accounts reported worldwide through this program were in Israel, making it the fifth most likely destination for overseas bank accounts.

Israeli banks have increased their efforts to identify clients who are United States citizens and report them to the IRS. A series of prosecutions against American citizens trying to avoid reporting their accounts in Israel and against tax preparers who advised their clients to use Israel as a tax shelter helped drive home the point.  Accordingly, Israeli banks have been urging their American account holders to come forward and disclose their assets under the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI).  In December 2013, Bank Leumi, the largest commercial Bank in Israel, sent out a letter to their American clients to come forward under the program.

Increased enforcement has impacted a wide circle of Americans, mainly Jewish, with ties to Israel. It includes not only those who have immigrated to Israel, or made aliyah, as adults, but also children of American citizens who are citizens themselves but may have never even visited the United States. The law is also relevant to any American who has opened an account in Israel in the past for use during visits to Israel or to help manage rental income in Israel.

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.

U.S. taxpayers with account holdings should seriously consider coming forward and disclosing their assets to the IRS.  If you have never reported your foreign investments on your U.S. Tax Returns, the IRS has established the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) which allows taxpayers to come forward to avoid criminal prosecution and not have to bear the full amount of penalties normally imposed by IRS.

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.

Description: Let the tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. resolve your IRS tax problems, get you in compliance with your FBAR filing obligations, and minimize the chance of any criminal investigation or imposition of civil penalties.

Request A Case Evaluation Or Tax Resolution Development Plan

Get a Tax Resolution Development Plan from us first before you attempt to deal with the IRS. There are several options for you to meet or connect with Board Certified Tax Attorney Jeffrey B. Kahn. Jeff will review your situation and go over your options and best strategy to resolve your tax problems. This is more than a mere consultation. You will get the strategy or plan to move forward to resolve your tax problems! Jeff’s office can set up a date and time that is convenient for you. By the end of your Tax Resolution Development Plan Session, if you desire to hire us to implement the strategy or plan, Jeff would quote you our fees and apply in full the session fee paid for the Tax Resolution Development Plan Session.

Types Of Initial Sessions:

Most Popular GoToMeeting Virtual Tax Development Resolution Plan Session
Maximum Duration: 60 minutes - Session
Fee: $350.00 (Credited if hired*)
Requires a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device compatible with GoToMeeting. Please allow up to a 10-minute window following the appointment time for us to start the meeting. How secure is GoToMeeting? Your sessions are completely private and secure. All of GoToMeetings solutions feature end-to-end Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. No unencrypted information is ever stored on our system.


Face Time or Standard Telephone Tax Development Resolution Plan Session
Maximum Duration: 60 minutes - Session
Fee: $350.00 (Credited if hired*)
Face Time requires an Apple device. Please allow up to a 10-minute window following the appointment time for us to get in contact with you. If you are located outside the U.S. please call us at the appointed time.


Reduced Fee Face-To-Face Tax Development Resolution Plan Session (Irvine Office Only)
Maximum Duration: 60 minutes - Session
Fee: $350.00 (Credited if hired*)
Session is held at our main office. 15615 Alton Parkway, Suite 450, Irvine, CA 92618.


Standard Fee Face-To-Face Tax Development Resolution Plan Session (Any Location Outside Our Irvine Office)
Maximum Duration: 60 minutes - Session
Fee: $600.00 (Credited if hired*)
Session is held at any of our offices outside our Irvine office or any other location you designate such as your financial adviser’s office or your accountant’s office, your place of business or your residence.


Jeff’s office can take your credit card information to charge the session fee which secures your session.

* The session fee is non-refundable and any allotted duration of time unused is not refunded; however, the full session fee will be applied as a credit toward future service if you choose to engage our firm.