If you are a U.S. citizen and have offshore bank accounts you better make sure you are in full compliance with U.S. tax laws and that you have disclosed all necessary information. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is determined to find offenders and has restarted their engine on identifying tax evaders.
In January 2016 a 3 year disclosure program came to an end in which 80 Swiss banks came forward admitting to how they helped U.S. citizens avoid paying U.S. taxes through the use of offshore accounts. These citizens were identified and non -prosecution agreements were made in exchange for $1.37 billion in penalties to be paid to federal authorities. In addition a former Credit Suisse Group AG banker pleaded guilty to helping Americans evade taxes.
In 2012 the IRS launched the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, more than 50,000 Americans came forward. These citizens disclosed their offshore holdings to avoid heavy tax penalties or possible legal proceedings. Although some may have hoped that voluntarily coming forward would spare them from heavy penalties or prosecution, Federal investigators have made it clear that intentional tax evasion won’t go unpunished. Through this program a lot of data was gathered and the DOJ is currently sifting through it all to see if any individuals intentionally avoided paying U.S. taxes. The data is being compared against records at the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen)
The DOJ Tax Division has publicly announced that a strong and ongoing effort is being made to ensure that all American’s pay their share of taxes. Don’t say you haven’t been warned, get your offshore bank accounts in line or Federal officials will do it for you……