Officials at the Internal Revenue Service have made it a priority to expand its continuing investigations into offshore tax evasion to countries beyond Switzerland, the chief of the IRS Criminal Investigation division said Oct. 18.
Richard Weber, a career prosecutor who assumed his IRS post in May, said that in the near future officials hope to announce charges in pending cases that will allege schemes to hide offshore assets in countries other than Switzerland and Liechtenstein, which so far have been the primary focus.
The new cases, Weber said, will“show additional progress” in cracking down on offshore tax evasion.
“We’ve made it a significant priority to expand to other countries, and we have agents doing that now,” he told a money laundering conference sponsored by the Foundation for Accounting Education of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Pointing to the “great success” the IRS has had in uncovering criminal conduct involving Swiss bank accounts, Weber said that the Service has been breaking down bank secrecy barriers that have shielded U.S. taxpayers with assets in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, “and other tax haven countries.” But he added: “We are not done.”
International investigations have been given priority in the CI division, with headquarters staff working to support field offices in developing new types of prosecutions, he said.
Much of the work involves partnerships with foreign governments and law enforcement agencies, as well as private entities and professional organizations, he reported. The IRS now has 17 attaches at key embassies and consulates in 10 countries, he said, with plans to expand that international presence.
“We're seeing positive results from having attaches in these locations,” Weber said, pointing to the advantages of being able to work directly with foreign counterparts, at the same table and in the same time zone.
“When we work together, it's a force multiplier, and the criminals lose,” he said.
“So we need to be smarter, more creative, more effective,” Weber continued. “I'm sure my (4,000) agents are up to the challenge.” But he suggested that there is enough work ahead for another 1,000 CI agents, if he had them.
If you have Unreported Income From Swiss Banks or are a Swiss Bank Employee named in these documents, contact the Tax Lawyers at Marini & Associates, P.A. for a FREE Tax Consultation at www.TaxAid.us orwww.TaxLaw.ms or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).