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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Former IRS Examiner Charged With Leaking Whistleblower's Name To Big Bank Target

Leaking names is a serious offense. And the one who is guilt must be punished in order to avoid such incidents in future.
A former Internal Revenue Service examiner was arrested today at his home in Edgewater, N.J. on charges that he illegally leaked the name of a confidential tax whistleblower to an executive of the same bank that was the whistleblower’s target—a bank that allegedly had $1 billion in unreported U.S. income.
According to a four count criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York yesterday and unsealed today, Dennis Lerner, 59, also violated federal conflict of interest laws by seeking a job with that bank while he was examining it, and then improperly seeking to influence his former colleagues at the IRS in their dealings with the bank.
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Read more at: Tax Times blog

Reed Amendment Gernerating Enforcement in 2012?

We have learned about 2-3 Expatriates who were recently denied entry into the US by Homeland Security at the Airport and put on the next plane out of town. These events happened at at different Metropolitan Airports in different US cities. We have also heard that some U.S. consular officers may have unofficially applied the Reed Amendment to refuse issuance of a visa to former U.S. citizens.  


This new official/unofficial enforcement of the Reed Amendment may be a reaction to the news about Facebook’s co-founder Eduardo Saverin having renounced his U.S. citizenship, which we discussed in our May14, 2012 post "Facebook's Co-Founder Just Defriended America." At the time there was speculation regarding whether The Reed Amendment would be applied to him thereby preventing him reentry into the U.S. and Reed himself sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano urging her to bar Saverin from re-entry.

The Reed Amendment was an amendment to the United States' Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 regarding the admission of former U.S. citizens.  It added the following text to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965's list of "Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admissions" (8 USC § 1182 - Inadmissible aliens)

 
(E) Former citizens who renounced citizenship to avoid taxation
Any alien who is a former citizen of the United States who officially renounces United States citizenship and who is determined by the Attorney General to have renounced United States citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation by the United States is inadmissible.
The U.S. government has never issued regulations to implement the Reed Amendment.  One issue with the enforcement of the law was that the Attorney General was never authorized to obtain the required information from the Internal Revenue Service in order to be able to make the determination whether a former American's loss of citizenship was motivated by tax reasons. In 2004, Congress threw out the relevance of tax avoidance motives altogether and imposed an exit tax.
 
However, Senator Charles Schumer stated that the Reed Amendment "was written in a manner that inhibits its enforcement", and so he and Bob Casey introduced new legislation, the Ex-Patriot Act, which would make former U.S. citizens inadmissible to the United States and charge them 30% capital gains tax on their U.S. investmentson for people such as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, unless they show they didn’t renounce their U.S. citizenship to avoid taxes.
 
Under the bill, if you renounce with a $2 million net worth or an average income-tax liability of $148,000, tax avoidance is presumed.  Previously when presumed tax avoidance was in the law (it was changed in 2004), expats usually showed family, political, geographic or other reasons to leave.

Other highly controversial proposals would revoke or deny passports to those owing the IRS $50,000 or more; see our post Tax Delinquents May Have Passports Canceled & Be Questioned at Air & Sea Ports.  

Other related news conserning tax related actions being taken by Homeland Security was discussed in our post Dead Beat Taxpayers Residing residing outside U.S. ques Toned at U.S. border regarding back taxes. This post discussed theat Taxpayers traveling to the United States with unpaid U.S. tax assessments can be detained at the border, questioned, and flagged for follow-up enforcement. If a taxpayer has an unpaid tax liability and is subject to a resulting Notice of Federal Tax Lien, the IRS may submit identifying taxpayer information to the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS), a database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

If you have Tax Problems and are Considering Traveling, contact the Tax Lawyers at Marini & Associates, P.A. for a FREE Tax Consultation at www.TaxAid.us or www.TaxLaw.ms or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).

Read more at: Tax Times blog

50 of the World's Safest Banks – Most Are Non US.

According to Global Finance Magazine’s ranking of the world’s safest banks, the top 9 banks in the magazine’s World’s 50 Safest Banks list are all state-backed institutions. All indications from this report is that for banking safely, global citizens had better go to the local government and avoid the U.S.

The  2012 list is comprised of the following Banks based upon credit ratings and assets:

1. KfW – (Germany)

2. Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (BNG) – (Netherlands)

3. Zürcher Kantonalbank- (Switzerland)

4. Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank- (Germany)

5. Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg – Förderbank (L-Bank) – (Germany)

6. Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) – (France)

7. Nederlandse Waterschapsbank – (Netherlands)

8. NRW.Bank – (Germany)

9. Banque et Caisse d’Épargne de l’État – (Luxembourg)

10. Rabobank Group – (Netherlands)

11. TD Bank Group – (Canada)

12. Bank of Nova Scotia- (Canada)

13. DBS Bank – (Singapore)

14. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp – (Singapore)

15. United Overseas Bank – (Singapore)

16. Caisse centrale Desjardins – (Canada)

17. Royal Bank of Canada – (Canada)

18. National Australia Bank – (Australia)

19. Commonwealth Bank of Australia – (Australia)

20. Westpac Banking Corporation – (Australia)

21. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group – (Australia)

22. Kiwibank – (New Zealand)

23. HSBC Holdings – (United Kingdom)

24. Nordea – (Sweden)

25. Bank of Montreal – (Canada)

26. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce – (Canada)

27. Svenska Handelsbanken – (Sweden)

28. China Development Bank -(China)

29. Bank of New York Mellon Corp – (United States)

30. Agricultural Development Bank of China – (China)

31. National Bank of Abu Dhabi – (United Arab Emirates)

32. CoBank ACB – (United States)

33. Pohjola Bank – (Finland)

34. National Bank of Kuwait -(Kuwait)

35. DZ Bank – (Germany)

36. Banque Fédérative du Crédit Mutuel (BFCM) – (France)

37. U.S. Bancorp - (United States)

38. National Bank of Canada – (Canada)

39. Northern Trust Corp – (United States)

40. Qatar National Bank – (Qatar)

41. Samba Financial Group – (Saudi Arabia)

42. BancoEstado – (Chile)

43. La Banque Postale – (France)

44. Bank of Taiwan – (Taiwan)

45. Shizuoka Bank – (Japan)

46. Banco de Chile – (Chile)

47. BNP Paribas – (France)

48. Wells Fargo – (United States)

49. Standard Chartered – (United Kingdom)

50. SEB – (Sweden)
 

If you have question concerning Offshore Bank Accounts, contact the Tax Lawyers at Marini & Associates, P.A. for a FREE Tax Consultation at www.TaxAid.us or www.TaxLaw.ms or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).
 
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Read more at: Tax Times blog

US Taxpayers Living in Canada – This is Your Last Chance To Report your Offshore Account!

We previoustly posted More Swiss Bank Files Being Transferred to the IRS! - where we discussed that Credit Suisse AG has handed over more internal documents to U.S. authorities.

"The documents concerned comprise e-mail correspondence, including attachments, with clients domiciled in the U.S., as well as internal e-mail correspondence, including attachments, about clients domiciled in the U.S. and the U.S. cross-border business in general during the period from June 2001 to March 2011."

Other banks that confirmed that they sent documents, including employee names, to the U.S. are the private-banking unit of HSBC Holdings, Julius Baer Group AG, Zuercher Kantonalbank and Basler Kantonalbank.

So if you are US taxpayer, living in Canada, who had an account with one of theses Swiss Banks and you have not made a voluntary disclosure, YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE DISCOVERED!

Technically, once the IRS has obtained your identity from these records, you do not qualify for voluntary disclosure.

The mere fact that the Service served a John Doe summons, made a treaty request or has taken similar action does not make every member of the Joe Doe class or group identified in the treaty request or other action ineligible to participate.

However, once the Service or the Department of Justice obtains information under a John Doe summons, treaty request or other similar action that provides evidence of a specific taxpayer's noncompliance with the tax laws or Title 31 reporting requirements, that particular taxpayer will become ineligible for OVDP and Criminal Investigation's Voluntary Disclosure Practice.

For this reason, a taxpayer concerned that a party subject to a John Doe summons, treaty request or similar action will provide information about him or her to the Service should apply to make a Voluntary Disclosure as soon as possible.

If you are a US Person Living in Canada and have Unreported Income From Swiss Banks, contact the Tax Lawyers at Marini & Associates, P.A. for a FREE Tax Consultation at www.TaxAid.us or www.TaxLaw.ms or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).

Read more at: Tax Times blog