Within the United States, 38,000 U.S. citizens have voluntarily come forward to report to the Internal Revenue Service that they had undeclared offshore financial accounts. All U.S. citizens must declare any foreign accounts to the IRS and must pay all taxes that are due on those accounts, as well as on any income earned. Those who have come forward have paid more than $5.5 billion in back taxes.
While repaying back taxes and penalties is not pleasant, the reason so many people are coming forward is because the U.S. government is aggressively cracking down on tax evasion and is going after investors with foreign accounts. If you have an offshore account you have not declared to the IRS, you need to contact a Boston IRS Attorney to understand your options and get help.
The Crackdown Has Gone Global
The U.S. government is one of many governments throughout the world that is seeking more revenue and that is trying to get these funds from investors who moved their money offshore to avoid paying taxes.
According to Fox News, the Indian government is also trying to recover funds from investors that went unpaid due to putting money offshore. Tax evasion in India is described as being rampant, and estimates from 2010 indicate that the total illicit financial flows in India over several decades reached $462 billion.
Worldwide, “more than half the world’s money passes almost undetected through a series of financial holes that shelter it from not only the tax collector but form shareholders, partners and wives,” according to Trib Live.
The Indian government is doing something about stopping tax evasion among its citizens. The names of 627 Indians with offshore accounts have been provided to the Supreme Court, and a March 2015 deadline has been set to investigate those individuals with money offshore. By the time the deadline runs out, criminal charges will be brought against tax evaders.
The U.S. government is also using the criminal justice system to make people bring money back to the country and pay taxes on it. The government has gone after individuals, prosecuting them and imposing penalties that in some cases have resulted in fines exceeding the amount of money that was kept in undeclared offshore accounts.
The U.S. government has also prosecuted bankers who helped to facilitate tax evasion and has indicted banks, including Swiss banks that have a long history of helping investors keep money offshore. The banks and bankers frequently agree to make deals and turn over the names of investors.
If you are an investor with money offshore, it is understandable if you are worried your name will be on a list of those turned over to the government. You need to explore your options for voluntary disclosure and for minimizing the penalties you could face. A Boston IRS Attorney can provide you with assistance in understanding the option available to you and can advise you on doing everything possible to limit fines and avoid criminal prosecution.
For a consultation, contact Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 692-2989