Money Laundering and Foreign Bank Accounts

Under the Bank Secrecy Act, U.S. residents or a person in and doing business in the United States must file a report with the U.S. Treasury if he or she has a financial account in a foreign country with a value exceeding $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. Taxpayers comply with this law by noting the account on their tax return and by filing Form 90-22.1, the Foreign Bank and Financial Account Report (FBAR). Willfully failing to file an FBAR report can be punished under both civil and criminal law.

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Appealing to the IRS

1.10 While the process is not mandated by statute, the Service has, for over 60 years, provided taxpayers with an administrative alternative to litigating their tax disputes in court [Reg. § 601.106]. Now commonly referred to as Appeals, this administrative branch of the IRS generally has the final power and authority of the IRS to determine audit liabilities of taxpayers

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Who Gets Audited by IRS

The total number of audits of individual returns increased in 2010. Those who earned less than $200,000 had about a 1 percent chance of being audited. Those with incomes of $200,000 and more had about a 3 percent chance of being audited.

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Audit Representation During Audit

Many tax controversies are better resolved sooner rather than later. Accordingly, it is often to your client’s advantage for you to begin work on the case promptly. Your first goal should be to accurately gather the necessary information. You must control this information gathering process. Otherwise, the client will often inundate you with reams of useless information while neglecting to hand over truly important documents. The initial interview with the client is an important step in your preparation for audit.

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IRS Aggressively Pursuing Offshore Accounts

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.

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Audit Reconsideration

An Audit Reconsideration is the process the IRS uses to reevaluate the results of a prior audit where additional tax was assessed and remains unpaid, or a tax credit was reversed. If the taxpayer disagrees with the original determination he/she must provide information that was not previously considered during the original examination. It is also the process the IRS uses when the taxpayer contests a Substitute for Return (SFR) determination by filing an original delinquent return.

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