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A New IRS Taskforce is Cracking Down on International Tax Evasion

Offshore Account Update

Posted on April 30, 2018 |

A Boston tax audit attorney can help you if you are under investigation by the IRS because of offshore financial accounts. In recent years, the criminal division of the IRS has actually significantly increased the number of cases that it originates that are connected to the global financial market. This increase in cases that relate to international tax issues -- which happened at a time when there was a decline in the total number of cases opened by the criminal investigation division -- is cause for major concern for those who have undeclared offshore funds.

Unfortunately, the situation could become even worse and the risk could soon be higher for anyone with offshore investments. The IRS has now launched a dedicated task force to address tax evasion through foreign investing and this task force will be joining forces with the criminal investigation team.  Those with undeclared offshore funds need to be very concerned about the new initiative at the IRS and should reach out to an experienced attorney for help as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

The IRS Now Has a Dedicated Task Force Aimed at Fighting Tax Evasion Through Offshore Investing

The criminal division of the IRS completed 3,395 investigations in 2016 and completed 3,853 in 2015. In its fiscal year 2017 report, however, the number of completed investigations fell to 3,019. This decline made it even more surprising that there has been a significant rise in the number of cases related to offshore investing.

In 2015, for example, there were only 186 cases originated by the IRS criminal division that were dedicated to fighting tax evasion in the global financial market. In 2016, the total number of initiated complaints related to foreign investments was 221. In 2017, 283 cases related to international tax evasion were initiated.

The criminal division will now be working with a newly-created task force made up of 10 full time IRS agents solely focused on international tax issues. The new agents will be making use of data from all federal tax returns as well as making use of reports of suspicious activities submitted by financial institutions. The agents will be able to analyze all of this information to determine the appropriate focus for investigations conducted jointly by the criminal division and the new task force.

According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, the chief of the IRS criminal investigation unit believes that the collaborative effort with the task force will allow for a more strategic focus on international tax enforcement as the entire team will work together on investigating the most promising cases.

Because the IRS will be taking a new -- and likely more effective approach -- to pursuing investigations into offshore investors not fully in compliance with international tax laws, you are at increased risk if you have undeclared offshore funds and haven't fully complied with the law.

You should reach out to Boston tax audit attorney Kevin Thorn as soon as possible to find out the options you have available for reducing the likelihood you'll face criminal charges and for limiting any potential financial penalties that you could face.

For a consultation, contact Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner, at ket@thornlawgroup.com or (617) 692-2989

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