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News & Events

Archive by Year:2016 - Page 4

A Look at The Panama Papers

Offshore Account Update

Posted in on April 15, 2016

Recently, eleven million documents were released without authorization in a leak being referred to as the Panama Papers. The documents came from one of the most secretive companies in the world -- a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca.  The leaked documents provide a comprehensive paper trail showing how tax havens have been used to hide wealth and avoid tax liability. The documents involve clients from throughout the world who used offshore tax havens, including many current or former heads of state, as well as at least 60 people who have strong ties to current or former world leaders.

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Offshore Bank Settlement Reached Between DOJ and Bank J. Safra Sarasin

Offshore Account Update

Posted in on March 25, 2016

Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG is a Swiss Bank that first formed in 2013 through the merger of two other Swiss financial institutions.  With branches in Geneva, Berne, Lucerne, Zurich, and Lugano, Safra Sarasin is a formidable presence in the offshore banking industry. It also just sold out its customers to the Department of Justice so it wouldn't be prosecuted for its own role in helping U.S. citizens evade their tax obligations to the IRS.

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14 Requirements for Participation in the OVDP

Offshore Account Update

Posted in on March 11, 2016

Everyone who is a U.S. citizen with an offshore bank account has to file an annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Even if you live abroad, you have to file this report. If you don't file FBARs, you can face penalties. Those penalties could include prosecution and very substantial fines if the IRS discovers the account on its own and begins to take action. With many offshore banks providing information to the government, many offshore accounts are being discovered.

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U.S. Going After Banks in Singapore and Israel

Offshore Account Update

Posted in on February 26, 2016

Money is rapidly moving out of Swiss banks as U.S. account holders look for other places to keep offshore funds. The exodus is occurring as 41 Swiss banks signed amnesty agreements with the United States Justice Department just in this past year alone. As part of these agreements, the banks were given immunity from criminal prosecution in exchange for paying fines and providing detailed information on individual accounts and account holders.  The U.S. authorities are using the information from Swiss banks to pursue efforts to collect unpaid taxes and penalties from U.S.-affiliated individuals who were keeping money offshore and not reporting income.

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Two More Banks Participate in Swiss Bank Program

Offshore Account Update

Posted in on February 12, 2016

In December, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Edmond de Rothschild (Suisse) SA and Edmond de Rothschild (Lugano) SA (collectively EdR Switzerland) joined the long list of financial institutions participating in the Swiss Bank Program. This program provides amnesty from criminal prosecution for banks that pay financial penalties for their part in helping people in the United States evade their obligations to the Internal Revenue Service.  Banks that participate cannot simply choose to only pay fines, but they must also agree to cooperate with U.S. authorities in providing detailed information about accountholders and financial transactions.

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