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.
Tax season is upon us, and Arnstein & Lehr’s Chicago partner Robert McKenzie helps shed some light on new rules for offshore foreign account filing. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act’s (FATCA) was passed in 2010 after Congress discovered the large number of Americans hiding their money in offshore accounts. The law states that every year, all foreign banks, worldwide, must send an information document on all Americans to the IRS. If a bank does not comply, the IRS can require American banks to withhold 30% of transactions between them. Listen to Bob McKenzie’s audio commentary here.