Wednesday, August 31, 2016

OVDP Is Not The Only Option For Us Taxpayers With Undisclosed Foreign Bank Accounts!

With the implementation of FATCA and the ongoing efforts of the IRS and the Department of Justice to ensure compliance by those with U.S. tax obligations have raised awareness of U.S. tax and information reporting obligations with respect to non-U.S. investments.

Whether a U.S. taxpayer with noncompliant offshore holdings should pursue the formal OVDP or should file remedial returns under the IRS voluntary disclosure practice is an issue that requires considerable professional judgment by the tax practitioner, particularly on the issue of ‘‘Willfulness.’’  

This judgment must take into account all facts and circumstances, including all items of evidence, whether in the form of banking or tax-related documentation, third-party statements, or the taxpayer’s own statements.

Because the circumstances of taxpayers with non-U.S. investments vary widely, the IRS offers the following 4 options for addressing previous failures to comply with U.S. tax and information return obligations with respect to those investments:
  1. Voluntary Disclosure
  2. Streamlined Disclosure - Non-Resident Taxpayer and Resident U.S. Taxpayer
  3. Delinquent FBAR Submissions Procedures
  4. Delinquent International Information Return Submissions Procedures
There are also 5 other options that some taxpayers may consider, which are not as advantageous as the 4 discussed above:
  1. Filing a Noisy Disclosure
  2. Filing a Quiet Disclosure
  3. Prospective Compliance
  4. Do Nothing
  5. Expatriation
Every taxpayer's case is different, and a number of issues often arise in each case. One such issue is how many years the taxpayer must correct. In many cases, practitioners recommend going back six years, as that is the statute of limitations for criminal tax prosecutions in the US. In other cases, for a variety of reasons, a taxpayer may correct filings for fewer years.

Don't bury your head in the sand hoping your tax problems will go away! Take action NOW while you still have options!

It would behoove taxpayers worldwide, to review their tax-related structures, accounts and holdings, to ascertain whether it would make sense to consider a voluntary disclosure. This is especially the case for valued company management who may have undeclared assets in tax haven countries and for families and individuals about secret accounts or offshore business structures, which may be perceived as abusive.

Prudent Action NOW Could Pre-Empt
Potentially Serious Legal Trouble Down the Road!

Want to Know if the OVDP Program is Right for You?

Contact the Tax Lawyers at 
Marini& Associates, P.A.  
for a FREE Tax Consultation
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888) 882-9243


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

More fallout from the "Panama Papers" - Commercial Bank of Taiwan To Pay a $180 Million Penalty

More fallout from the "Panama Papers" a/k/a leaked documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

We previously posted on June 25, 2016 Federal Agents & Prosecutors Gearing Up to Utilize "Panama Papers" in Their Prosecutions where we discussed that Federal agents and prosecutors are "chomping at the bit" to exploit the Panama Papers and launch prosecutions, a senior federal law enforcement official told NBC News, but want to be sure that the way the huge data dump about offshore money was obtained doesn't jeopardize their cases.

Now Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo announced  on 8/19/16 that Mega International Commercial Bank of Taiwan will pay a $180 million penalty and install an independent monitor for violating New York’s anti-money laundering laws.  

The fine is part of a consent order entered into with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) pursuant to which Mega Bank shall take immediate steps to correct violations, including engaging an independent monitor to address serious deficiencies within the bank’s compliance program and implement effective anti-money laundering controls.  Mega Bank is a major international financial institution with approximately $103 billion in assets, including $9 billion at its New York branch.

Violations of anti-money laundering requirements at Mega Bank were uncovered in a recent DFS examination, which found that the bank’s head office was indifferent toward risks associated with transactions involving Panama, recognized as a high-risk jurisdiction for money-laundering. Mega Bank has a branch in Panama City and another in Panama’s Colon Free Trade Zone.  DFS’s investigation identified a number of suspicious transactions running between Mega Bank’s New York and Panama Branches. 

The investigation also determined that a substantial number of customer entities, which have or had accounts at several other Mega Bank branches, were apparently formed with the assistance of the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama.  Mossack Fonseca is one of the law firms at the center of the formation of shell company activity, possibly designed to skirt banking and tax laws worldwide, including U.S. laws designed to fight money laundering.

Do You Have Undeclared Income 
From A Foreign Entity
Formed By Mossack Fonseca ?

  Do You Have Undeclared Accounts
With Any of the Following Foreign Banks?
Want to Know Witch OVDP Program is Right for You?

Contact the Tax Lawyers at 
Marini& Associates, P.A.  
for a FREE Tax Consultation
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888) 882-9243

Mondo Visione


Courts Not Sympathetic to FATCA Challenges!

On September 30, 2015, we posted Judge Denies Injunctive Relief for FATCA Implementation!, where we discussed that an Ohio federal judge said that Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., and others do not have standing in a challenge to the offshore financial account tax enforcement measures enacted in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and they were not likely to succeed on the merits in the case. The case is Crawford v. U.S. Dep't of Treasury, S.D. Ohio, No. 3:15-cv-00250, 9/29/15.

The only member of the group who has standing is Daniel Kuettel, a citizen of Switzerland who renounced his U.S. citizenship, and only regarding two counts alleging the heightened reporting requirements of the law deny equal protection to Americans living abroad and that the penalty for failing to file a Foreign Bank Account Report is excessive, Judge Rose said. However, those assertions do not survive a facial challenge, he said.


The public interest is also best served by keeping the FATCA provisions in place, Judge Rose said. 
More recently a district court has dismissed the amended complaint of a U.S. citizen living in Saudi Arabia challenging the constitutionality of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

The court found that the amended complaint, like the original, failed to establish that the taxpayer had standing to bring the suit because it didn't sufficiently allege that he was in fact injured by FATCA or that any FATCA-related harms to him were imminent. Alsheikh v. Lew, et al, (DC CA 08/22/2016) 118 AFTR 2d ¶2016-5149.

It Is Time to Wake up and Smell the Coffee People
– FATCA Is Here to Stay!


Is This Your Idea of Dealing with 
Previously Undeclared Foreign Income?

Want to Know which OVDP Program is Right for You?

 Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.  
for a FREE Tax Consultation
Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888) 882-924

Monday, August 29, 2016

OECD Adds 5 More Countries To Its CbC Automatic Exchange Agreement

On June 30, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced that 5 new countries have signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for the automatic exchange of country-by-country (CbC) reports (CbC MCAA), which facilities the exchange of certain confidential transfer pricing information recommended under Action 13 of the G20/OECD project to target base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). It brings the total number of signatories to 39 countries.
The 5 countries are:
  1. Argentina;
  2. Curacao;
  3. Georgia;
  4. Korea; and
  5. Uruguay.
First automatic exchanges of information will start in 2017-2018 on 2016 information.
    Have an International Tax Problem?  
    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).