California Tax Law Blog

Some Banks Bail on Non-Prosecution Agreement – Don’t Be Fooled

Some Banks Bail on Non-Prosecution Agreement – Don’t Be Fooled

| Sep 08 | OVDI Program, Tax Law Blog | No Comments
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It is now no surprise to taxpayers around the world that the United States has trained their sights on not only Swiss banks, but on all foreign institutions that could be helping Americans hide money from the watchful eye of the U.S. government. Recent news of banks pulling out of previously made agreements with the U.S. may give taxpayers who have secret accounts false hope. It is important that you fully understand the risk that you are taking before you decide to do nothing. Read More

Have You Received a Letter From Your Foreign Bank Regarding Required Reporting of Your Account to the U.S. Government Under FATCA? If So, Listen Up!

Have You Received a Letter From Your Foreign Bank Regarding Required Reporting of Your Account to the U.S. Government Under FATCA? If So, Listen Up!

| Sep 02 | FBAR Compliance and Disclosure, Tax Law Blog | No Comments
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Thousands upon thousands of Americans have some amount of money in an account that is deposited with a bank that is outside of the United States. There is certainly nothing per se illegal against keeping your money outside of the U.S. If you have a foreign account, it is probably common for you to receive some regular correspondence from your overseas bank. But watch out, a growing amount of foreign banks are sending out letters that can be precursors of draconian fines or even time in prison on the horizon if you have failed to report the existence of your foreign account on FinCen Form 114 (Previously TDF 90-22.1) and reported the income generated by the foreign account for U.S. income tax purposes. Read More

Small Business Owner Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison

Small Business Owner Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison

| Aug 28 | Criminal Tax Representation, Tax Law Blog | No Comments
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When a business opens its doors to the public, it is expected that they treat their customers and employees fairly and with respect. Employers are required to withhold taxes for their employees and remit that money to the IRS. Then, that money is either credited to the employee’s tax bill or refunded to them in the event of an overpayment.

Most employers take care of this task diligently and without issue. But not every business owner takes the necessary steps to ensure that they are in compliance with the law. Read More

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Failing to Disclose Foreign Accounts, Faces Prison Time

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Failing to Disclose Foreign Accounts, Faces Prison Time

| Aug 26 | Criminal Tax Representation, FBAR Compliance and Disclosure, OVDI Program, Tax Law Blog | No Comments
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Many of us can think back to a time where the term “Swiss bank” meant secrecy and represented a haven for tax avoidance. But over the past decade, the benefits of storing money have slowly, but surely dissipated. And though we may all know this, there are still some American taxpayers who may not quite understand that the game has changed and that the United States government is serious when they tell you to report your foreign accounts or go to jail.

Bernard Kramer, a Florida resident, pled guilty this week on charges related to conspiracy to defraud the United States and willfully failing to declare offshore accounts on his income taxes. Read More

Serbia Showing Some Hostility Toward FATCA Requirements

Serbia Showing Some Hostility Toward FATCA Requirements

| Aug 21 | OVDI Program, Tax Law Blog | No Comments
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In the recent past, we have brought several stories to you detailing how numerous countries have decided to participate in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, also known as FATCA. Cooperation from other countries has come in various forms. Some countries have opted to enter into Intergovernmental Agreements with the U.S. and share information between nations while other countries have simply allowed, encouraged or even required their financial institutions to comply with the reporting provisions of FATCA. But not all countries are completely on board with the demands of the United States. Read More

The Top 20 Tax Havens in the World

The Top 20 Tax Havens in the World

| Jul 23 | OVDI Program, Tax Law Blog | No Comments
Top Tax Havens in the World

To view and share the full infographic, click here.  We only ask that if you share the image, you credit the source.

In recent months, more and more countries have been in the news as their statuses as tax havens change.  But it can be tricky to keep up with these constant developments and fluctuations, so our tax professionals decided to compile a handy infographic ranking some of the top tax havens in the world.

We analyzed data from around the globe, and whittled our search down to the top 20 havens used by Fortune 500 companies.  We looked at the top tax havens for capital tax versus the top tax havens for corporate tax, and found some interesting discrepancies — and similarities — between the two lists.  In both cases, Malta had the highest tax rate at 35%, while many of the lowest tax rates were associated with islands, such as the Cayman Islands and the Channel Islands.

We also examined the top 30 countries with the most money held offshore, and found that Bank of America has the most tax haven subsidiaries by a wide margin.  Businesses like Medtronic and United Technologies landed on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Russian Banks to Begin Complying with FATCA

Russian Banks to Begin Complying with FATCA

| Jul 18 | OVDI Program, Tax Law Blog | No Comments
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For those of you who follow international matters, it is an understatement to say that there has been tension between the United States and Russia over the past several decades. But surprisingly, it seems like there is something that the two nations can agree on: taxes.

Just ahead of the July 1st FBAR filing deadline, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to allow banks within Russia to send account information directly to the United States. Federal Law No. 173-FZ is not an intergovernmental agreement that the U.S. is used to entering into with other countries, but at this point, the IRS will celebrate this action by Russia as a victory.

Amid its crisis involving Ukraine, the United States halted talks with Russia earlier this year. The two nations were attempting to come to terms on a Model 1 IGA that would involve the mutual sharing of account information between Russia and the U.S. According the U.S. officials, those talks have still not restarted.

Some of the larger Russian banks are listed below. Though keep in mind, this listing is not exclusive. Russia has thousands of banks and under this new law; every one of them is authorized to avoid the adverse affects of FATCA themselves by handing over specific account information of American taxpayers. Read More

Inventor Sentenced to Prison for Hiding Money in Offshore Accounts!!

Inventor Sentenced to Prison for Hiding Money in Offshore Accounts!!

| Jul 09 | FBAR Compliance and Disclosure, Tax Law Blog | No Comments
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Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced that Ashvin Desai was sentenced to six months in federal prison and six months and one day of home confinement. This sentence was doled out even after, according to Desai, the IRS sought collection of a $14,229,744 penalty against him! Desai is a recent example of how the IRS has expanded its reach overseas to bring tax evaders to justice and collect taxes on hidden offshore income generating assets. Read More

Taiwan and China Agree to Hand Over American Bank Account Info

Taiwan and China Agree to Hand Over American Bank Account Info

| Jul 01 | OVDI Program, Tax Law Blog | No Comments
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As we have previously reported, foreign countries have been lining up to enter into agreements that will provide the United States government with foreign account information of American account holders. It seems like every day the United States is bragging about a new foreign territory that has agreed to turn over this potentially damaging information. It should come as no surprise that today is like any other day. Read More

Non-Willful Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Filing Option Help

Non-Willful Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Filing Option Help

| Jul 01 | FBAR Compliance and Disclosure, Tax Law Blog | No Comments
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On June 18th, the IRS announced a slew of amendments to the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). These amendments include a very attractive option to make your disclosure and receive a minimal penalty of only 5% of the account values that gave rise to your violation if you can demonstrate that you were not willful in your failure to disclose your foreign accounts on your Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts(FBAR). DON’T BE FOOLED! Read More

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