The United States Department Of Justice (DOJ) has received 106 requests from Swiss entities to participate in a settlement program aimed at ending a long-running probe of tax-dodging by Americans using Swiss bank accounts according to a senior US official. We previously reported that over 24% of secret accounts that were later voluntarily disclosed by U.S. taxpayers to avoid prosecution came from Switzerland.
These banks will be disclosing a great deal of information about their American clients including names as early as April 30, 2014.
To make matters worse for U.S. accountholders, Swiss Parliament has approved a legal amendment that foreign accountholders will not have to be told if Switzerland sends information about them to other countries. This move further loosens Swiss banking secrecy laws in order to avoid a global backlash.
So if you have unreported income from foreign banks, it’s time for a reality check:
1. If your account is with one of 106 Swiss Banks, then your information is probably already on its way to the IRS.
2. If your account is with any other foreign bank in ANY country, your account information will be turned over to the IRS, pursuant to the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), regardless of whether you received any notification from your bank that it is following this protocol.
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.
The IRS is giving taxpayers one last chance to come forward and voluntarily disclose foreign accounts and unreported foreign income before the IRS starts investigating non-compliant taxpayers.
If you have never reported your foreign investments on your U.S. Tax Returns, you should seriously consider participating in the IRS’s 2012 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.
Description: 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.