Thursday, May 30, 2013

Switzerland Banks Now Permitted To Disclose Hidden Client Accounts!

The Swiss government said on May 29, 2013 that it would allow its banks to disclose information on American clients with hidden accounts, a watershed move intended to help resolve a long-running dispute with the United States over tax evasion.

Disclosure of actual client names and account data, which American authorities have been aggressively seeking, would take place under a taxation treaty between the two countries that the American side has not yet ratified. Banks under criminal scrutiny that agree to cooperate with the decision could still face deferred-prosecution or nonprosecution agreements, a lesser punishment than indictment.

American clients whose names are handed over by Swiss banks but who have not voluntarily disclosed hidden accounts to the Internal Revenue Service would probably face criminal tax-evasion charges, lawyers said. Dozens of Americans have been indicted or charged in recent years for failing to disclose their accounts.

The decision also requires Swiss banks that cooperate with the Justice Department to protect their bankers and employees from, among other things, being fired for cooperating. American authorities have indicted more than two dozen Swiss bankers, lawyers and financial advisers in recent years.

Do Have Unreported Income From a Swiss Bank?
Secret Foreign Investments Keeping You Awake at Night?

Want to get right with the IRS?

Contact the Tax Lawyers at
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for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at or
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).


The New York Times

Friday, May 24, 2013

Miccosukee Indians Hit With $170 million IRS Tax Lien!

The Internal Revenue Service has slammed the Miccosukee Indians with a bill of $170 million for the West Miami-Dade tribe’s failure to report and withhold taxes from its distribution of gambling profits to tribal members, according to court records.
In a long-running battle, the IRS also has smacked hundreds of the tribe’s members with separate bills totaling $58 million for their failure to pay personal income taxes on those distributions during the same period, 2000 to 2005, records show.
The agency’s crackdown comes after years of fighting with the 600-member tribe over its refusal to pay taxes on the distribution of profits from its casino operation off the Tamiami Trail. The assessments for back taxes, interest and penalties, outlined in federal tax lien notices filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, reveal for the first time the sheer scope of the tribe’s tax problems with the IRS.  

Without the extras, the tribe’s withholding taxes alone for 2000 to 2005 totaled $45 million, and individual members’ taxes amounted to $30 million for that period, according to the tax liens.

The tax obligations of the tribe and its members are expected to soar because IRS examiners also are auditing the Miccosukee’s gambling distributions for the years 2006-2010, when payouts to each member were as high as $160,000 annually.

Are You A Member of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians?
Have an IRS Tax Problem?

Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.

for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at or
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243

The Miami Herald


Thursday, May 23, 2013

The IRS Will Be Closed Tommorow May 24, 2013 Due to Sequester.

 IRS has announced that due to the current budget situation, including the sequester, all IRS operations will be closed on May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22, and Aug. 30, 2013. While all IRS offices will be closed, and IRS employees will be furloughed without pay, taxpayers should nonetheless continue to file their returns and pay any taxes due as usual.

Taxpayers needing to contact IRS about their returns or payments should be sure to take these furlough dates into account. This may include taxpayers with returns or payments due soon after a furlough day, such as the June 17 deadline for taxpayers abroad and those making a second-quarter estimated tax payment, as well as the September 3 deadline for truckers filing a highway use tax return.

IRS noted that taxpayers should continue to file their returns and pay any taxes due as usual. That's because the furlough days aren't considered federal holidays, so the shutdown will have no impact on any tax-filing deadlines. However, IRS will be unable to accept or acknowledge receipt of electronically-filed returns on any day it is shut down.

Tax payment deadlines are also unaffected. IRS noted that the only tax payment deadlines coinciding with any of the furlough days relate to employment and excise tax deposits made by business taxpayers. These deposits must be made through the Treasury Department's Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), which will operate as usual.

In the future, IRS may possibly announce one or two additional furlough days if necessary. Further details on the impact of the shutdown on IRS procedures will be available on IRS's website.
Having Trouble Contacting the IRS?

Contact the Tax Lawyers at
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for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at or
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243). 

IR 2013-51

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Luxembourg Chooses Model I FATCA Agreement For Sharing Account Information With the US

We originally posted U.S. Engaging with More than 50 Jurisdictions to Curtail Offshore Tax Evasion on November 8, 2012, where we discussed that the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it is engaged with more than 50 countries and jurisdictions around the world to improve international tax compliance and implement the information reporting and withholding tax provisions commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
Luxembourg is one of the largest financial centers, which is built upon bank secrecy laws.  As such, it has come under intense pressure from the EU and the US, in their global effort to crack down on tax evasion.  

Luxembourg has now chosen the Model I FATCA Agreement, which provides for an automatic exchange of information between the Luxembourg and American fiscal authorities on bank accounts held in Luxembourg by citizens and residents of the United States.  

This decision will put Luxembourg’s relations with the US in line with the declaration of 10 April 2013, by which Luxembourg announced that it will introduce, on 1 January 2015 and within the scope of the 2003 EU Savings Directive, the automatic exchange of information within the European Union.

Luxembourg wishes to see the same conditions apply to all competing financial centers and to see the automatic exchange of information accepted as the international standard.

It has therefore agreed on May 14, 2013 to grant the European Commission a mandate to negotiate with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino.

Do Have Unreported Income From a Luxembourg Bank?

Secret Foreign Investments Keeping You Awake at Night?

Want to get right with the IRS?

Contact the Tax Lawyers at

Marini & Associates, P.A.

for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at or
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).  



More taxpayers e-file from home in 2013

 The Internal Revenue Service provided updated statistics showing continued growth in electronic
filing of tax returns. So far in 2013, more than 43 million people have self-prepared and e-filed their tax returns from home, an increase of more than 4 percent compared to the prior year.

Through May 10, the IRS received more than 43.6 million self-prepared e-file returns, up from 41.7 million a year earlier. E-filed returns from tax professionals increased slightly, reaching almost 70.4 million. In all, almost 114 million tax returns came in through e-file this year, up from 112.1 million at this point last year.

Other highlights from the new filing season statistics show:

• During 2013, the IRS issued more than 101 million refunds worth almost $268 billion.

• Almost 80 percent of refunds used direct deposit.

• More people are using to get answers, file their returns and resolve issues. So far in 2013, the IRS web site has been accessed more than 300 million times, up almost 25 percent compared to the same time last year.

Cumulative statistics comparing 5/11/12 and 5/10/13
Individual Income Tax Returns:
% Change
Total Receipts
Total Processed
E-filing Receipts:
Tax Professionals
Web Usage:
Visits to
Total Refunds:
Average refund
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Average refund


Need Tax Help?

Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.

for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at

or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

GAO report reveals minnows paid penalties of as much as 129x tax owed in OVDP.

On Mar 27, 2013, the Government Accountability Office released a new Report to Congressional Requesters on “Offshore Tax Evasion”, which warns that the “IRS Has Collected Billions of Dollars, but May be Missing Continued Evasion”. It provides more in-depth information about the characteristics of OVDP participants, and also reveals some details about the treatment of (and government attitude towards) people who make quiet disclosures.

For those U.S. Persons abroad too busy to read the GAO for seventy-two page report, Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press has helpfully summerized the contents of the report.

Who were the actual OVDP participants?

The first question the report the report does not answer is how many of the OVDP participants were home-grown Whales, how many were immigrants and immigrants’ kids with money in the old country, and how many were emigrants or accidentals residing abroad for decades?

Well, the GAO report can’t tell. The word “offshore” appears on literally every single page of the report besides the back cover, the word “immigrant” is mentioned on precisely two pages, and “expatriate” and “abroad” appear zero times.

Statistics on minnows in the OVDP are lised on page 13 of the report, in the table “Selected Penalty Information for 2009 OVDP Individual Taxpayers with Closed Cases as of November 29, 2012″, which provides how much of the $5.5 billion collected by the OVDP consisted of actual tax owed, and how much was penalties?

The relevant portion of the table are reproduced here, with The Isaac Brock Society's added calculations of certain ratios (in italics) in the bottom two rows:
Offshore account(s) balance$78,315$190,365$568,735$1,595,805$4,054,505
2009 OVDP penalty$13,320$35,670$107,949$310,476$793,166
Additional tax owed, tax years 2003–2008$103$1,661$12,748$60,449$190,399
Ratio of penalty to tax owed12921.48.465.134.17
Penalty as proportion of account balance17.0%18.7%18.9%19.4%19.5%

Both the rich and the poor paid between a sixth and a fifth of their account balances as Offshore Penalties, not counting the extra tens of thousands of dollars of lawyers’ fees.

Thousands of middle-class immigrants and emigrants owed Uncle Sam less than three hundred dollars of back taxes per year, which resulted in the IRS putting them through a nightmare involving tens of thousands of dollars of penalties and lawyers fees, and threats of criminal charges and jail time if they dared to exercise their right to opt out.

The Isaac Brock Society


Thursday, May 9, 2013

No Safe Havens for Offshore Tax Cheats ... The IRS, Australia & UK Audit Leaked Information!

We originally posted on Monday, May 6, 2013,Whistleblower Exposes Massive Offshore Corruption!, where we discussed a whistleblower's release of information to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists concerning off-shore holdings of people and companies in more than 170 countries and territories hiding trillions of dollars in income and assets.

Today the IRS announced in IR-2013-48,  that the tax administrations from the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom plan to share tax information involving a multitude of trusts and companies holding assets on behalf of residents in jurisdictions throughout the world.

The three nations have each acquired a substantial amount of data revealing extensive use of such entities organized in a number of jurisdictions including Singapore, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and the Cook Islands. The data contains both the identities of the individual owners of these entities, as well as the advisors who assisted in establishing the entity structure.

The secret records are believed to include those obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that lay bare the individuals behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, Singapore and other offshore hideaways.
The hoard of documents obtained by ICIJ represents the biggest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever gathered by a media organization.

The total size of the ICIJ files, measured in gigabytes, is more than 160 times larger than the leak of U.S. State Department documents by Wikileaks in 2010.

A statement from the British tax office puts the size of the data obtained by the three tax authorities at 400 gigabytes, compared to the 260 gigabytes gathered by the ICIJ.
“The 400 gigabytes of data is still being analyzed but early results show the use of companies and trusts in a number of territories around the world including Singapore, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Cook Islands,” the British tax office statement said.

The IRS, Australian Tax Office and HM Revenue & Customs have been working together to analyze this data and have uncovered information that may be relevant to tax administrations of other jurisdictions. Thus, they have developed a plan for sharing the data, as well as their preliminary analysis, if requested by those other tax administrations.

IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller stated that:

“This is part of a wider effort by the IRS and other
tax administrations to pursue international tax evasion.” 

"Our cooperative work with the United Kingdom and
Australia reflects a bigger goal of leaving NO SAFE HAVEN
for people trying to illegally evade taxes.”

There is nothing illegal about holding assets through offshore entities; however, such offshore arrangements are often used to avoid or evade tax liabilities on income represented by the principal or on the income generated by the underlying assets.
In addition, ADVISORS may be subject to Civil Penalties or Criminal Prosecution for promoting such arrangements as a means to Avoid or Evade Tax Liability or Circumvent Information Reporting requirements.
It is expected that this multilateral cooperation and coordinated effort will allow many countries to efficiently process this information and effectively enforce any laws that may have been broken. Increasingly, tax administrations are working together in this way to assist one another in identifying non-compliance with the tax laws. U.S. taxpayers holding assets through offshore entities are encouraged to review their tax obligations with respect to these holdings, seek professional advice if necessary, and to participate in the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program where appropriate.

Failure to do so may result in significant penalties and possibly criminal prosecution! 

Secret Foreign Investments Keeping You Awake at Night?
Want to get right with the IRS?

Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.

for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).