IRS will step up its efforts to find Americans utilizing tax haven banks. Since September 11 the U. S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has developed a coordinated program to find money laundering, foreign banking activity, and tax evasion. In most white collar crime cases the Justice Department offers plea bargains to individuals like Birkenfeld in return for cooperation in charging others involved in illegal activity. Therefore with increased resources being allocated to seeking out foreign bank activities by Americans we can anticipate will the first of many bankers who cooperate to reduce their potential jail time.
The IRS is encouraging U.S. taxpayers to come into compliance with their reporting and filing requirements with regards offshore bank accounts and foreign assets. New Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures have been announced with that goal in mind.
The streamlined procedures require the filing of original (for non-residents) or amended (for residents) tax returns. Such tax returns must not only report whatever foreign source income was generated in each of the applicable tax years but must also properly report any U.S. source income and deductions for each of the applicable tax years.
For eligible U.S. taxpayers residing outside the United States, all penalties will be waived under the streamlined procedures. For eligible U.S. taxpayers residing in the United States, the only penalty under the streamlined procedures will be a miscellaneous offshore penalty equal to 5 percent of the foreign financial assets that gave rise to the tax compliance issue (all income tax related penalties associated with the non-U.S. source income will be waived).