U.S. Targets Offshore Tax Evaders

Posted on Feb 18, 2013

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the U.S. government is stepping up its efforts to identify and prosecute citizens who attempt to evade taxes by parking their money in offshore accounts. Part of the reason for the expected surge of prosecutions, WSJ says, is that federal prosecutors have now had sufficient time to examine records from Swiss banking giant UBS (which, four years ago, agreed to turn over the names of U.S residents stashing substantial funds in its vaults). Also, a federal judge recently ordered UBS to turn over yet more records, and U.S. authorities are putting the screws to other, smaller foreign banks suspected of harboring the assets of U.S. citizens.

As one lawyer interviewed in this article is quoted as saying, “The U.S. is clearly casting a wider net… we’re getting calls from people who have without warning received grand-jury subpoenas for their foreign account records.” Says another attorney, U.S. authorities “want to send a message that no one is too old, or too rich, or too poor, or too sympathetic to escape criminal prosecution.”

But, the IRS is not entirely heartless, WSJ says: “The IRS currently is conducting its third amnesty program since 2009, allowing holders of secret accounts to confess. People accepted into the program often owe steep penalties but they escape prosecution. They also must provide detailed information for the IRS’s use in future enforcement efforts. In all, more than 38,000 holders of undeclared accounts have stepped forward and paid more than $5.5 billion in back taxes, interest and penalties, according to an IRS spokesman.”

Are you an Oklahoma resident who is being pursued by the IRS for unpaid taxes? Contact the Oklahoma tax experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) for a free consultation today!

Read More About U.S. Targets Offshore Tax Evaders...