The U.S. government has recently been increasing its efforts to combat tax evasion involving offshore bank accounts. Thus, being accused of hiding an offshore account from the IRS can have severe consequences for a U.S. taxpayer. A taxpayer can face serious penalties if he or she is convicted of committing this type of tax crime.
The federal government has shown an increased willingness to bring criminal charges against those suspected of committing tax evasion using offshore accounts. Recently, a man pled guilty to criminal charges in a U.S. tax evasion case.
Offshore accounts, and the bankers who manage them, have increasingly been targeted by the U.S. government in its tax evasion enforcement. This can be seen in a criminal tax case which has recently been brought against a Swiss banker.
Recently, the U.S. government has been stepping up its enforcement efforts against the use of hidden offshore accounts to commit tax evasion. As part of this enforcement, the government will sometimes conduct criminal prosecutions against the banks or bankers that it believes provided these hidden accounts to taxpayers. Such a case has recently arisen in Virginia.
We have discussed in the past how the IRS has begun to develop new methods to detect offshore bank accounts used by taxpayers. A recent federal case brought in Miami demonstrates a couple of potential new tactics the U.S. government may be using to pursue offshore accounts-related tax evasion.
There are many ways the IRS attempts to reveal whether tax evasion has occurred. Sometimes, they use carrots, like amnesty programs. And other times they use sticks, like litigation. This week, it appears that the trend may be moving towards carrots.