Thursday, October 6, 2011

Foreign Banks in 140 Countries Draw IRS Scrutiny

The U.S. Treasuryannounced the current results of the Tax Amnesty that was offered for 2011 with the extended deadline of September 9, 2011.

A total of more than 30,000 individuals have come forward under the amnesty programs for 2009 and 2011. The amount of additional revenue collected just on the 2009 amnesty program exceeded $2,200,000,000. Of the 2009 applications for amnesty, about 80% of the cases have been “closed”. It is unclear what Washington means by the word “closed” but may include applicants that were later found as not qualifying for the amnesty program.

For the 2011 amnesty program, the IRS has disclosed that more than 12,000 individuals applied for the tax amnesty and $500,000,000 has already been collected from the 12,000 applicants without penalties. It is doubtful that the $500 million represents any substantial percentage of the 12,000 applicants, since the period of time to work a particular complicated taxpayer case can take more than a year.

With penalties at a much higher level for 2011 amnesty as compared to 2009 amnesty, it is possible that the gross revenue netted from the 2011 amnesty will be more than $3,000,000,000.

The IRS says in a statement the latest data from the 2009 offshore program is just about 80% of the cases that it has closed for that year, involving bank accounts in 140 countries.

That has led to U.S. prosecutions, and a widening dragnet that includes a dozen banks, and now has shifted to Israel. U.S. Justice Department authorities are examining three of Israel's biggest banks over allegations they helped U.S. customers evade taxes, reports indicate. The banks reportedly under examination are Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi le-Israel BM and Mizrahi-Tefahot, the sources said.

The IRS adds in the statement that “people hiding assets offshore have received jail sentences running for months or years, and they have been ordered to pay hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars.”

If you are one of the growing number of individuals that may be a part of this international dragnet and have not availed yourself of the amnesty programs, it is always wise to contact a competent tax attorney to discuss the totality of your situation and how best to protect yourself.

To read more go to

No comments:

Post a Comment