Throughout the world, countries have been cracking down on tax evaders. The United States and Canada are among the countries that have aggressively pursued cases against banks that facilitated tax evasion and against individual investors who evaded their tax obligations by keeping undeclared funds offshore.
The actions taken by taxing authorities worldwide have resulted in countless investors being forced to pay substantial fines and penalties. Countries have recovered millions or even billions of dollars in lost revenue, fines and penalties. Those with offshore funds need to be aware of the great success that countries have had in cracking down on investors who try to hide money in foreign accounts.
If you are one of those investors with money offshore and you are concerned you could become part of the crackdown, you should also talk with a Washington D.C. international tax attorney to find out what your best course of action is for trying to avoid being hit with big penalties for not following tax rules.
Canada to Collect Billions in Offshore Tax Evasion Cases
A recent article from Bloomberg BNA revealed just how much money countries have been able to collect by cracking down on tax evaders. According to Bloomberg BNA, Canada is on track to collect around C$9.6 billion in offshore tax evasion cases.
Canada has already been successful in pursuing claims against tax evaders, as well as in convincing alleged tax evaders to come forward, admit wrongdoing and participate in voluntary disclosure programs. Canada convicted 42 taxpayers with offshore accounts of tax evasion in the 2016 to 2017 year, with these accountholders paying fines of C$12 million and facing total jail time of 734 months.
The country is becoming even more aggressive in trying to collect unpaid funds. It is currently investigating 20 cases of criminal tax evasion linked to offshore investing, and is tracking larger international electronic funds transfers. It has also made a C$1 billion commitment to fight tax evasion, and it has tightened acceptance rules for would-be participants of the Voluntary Disclosure Program. Because the program will now have more stringent acceptance criteria, it will be harder for people to participate in the voluntary disclosure program that limits their potential penalties.
Canada is making changes, in part, because of the Panama Papers that leaked confidential information from a Panama-based law firm about the accountholders the law firm had helped to set up secret offshore accounts. The goal is to respond to the Panama Papers, to help taxpayers have more certainty due to advance income tax rules, and to ensure the government is able to identify and take action against those who are violating tax laws.
If you are concerned that you could lose substantial amounts of your hard-earned money as part of a government crackdown on tax evasion, you should contact DC international tax attorney Kevin Thorn as soon as you can. Your attorney can help you to determine if you are in compliance with IRS rules and, if not, can assist you in exploring possibilities to reduce or avoid penalties through voluntary disclosure or other legal means. To find out more about how a lawyer can assist you, give us a call today.