Offshore Accounts Face Global Tax Evasion Crackdown
Governments throughout the world are facing major budget issues, in part due to the lingering after-effect of the global financial meltdown in 2008. With the demands for government services always growing, governments are looking for revenue anywhere they can find it, and many are finding it by going after those who have offshore accounts.
The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice in the United States have been making a very aggressive push to fight tax evasion, going after banks, bankers and individual investors and seeking tough criminal penalties and large fines. This phenomenon is not limited only to the U.S. government either. There is a massive global crackdown on tax evasion and it is imperative that you contact a Washington DC IRS attorney if you have any undeclared offshore accounts.
Tax Evasion Crackdown Goes Global
According to a recent article on Fox News, the Indian government has provided the Supreme Court with a list of more than 600 Indians who have foreign bank accounts that are unauthorized. This is part of a massive attempt to stop what is being described as “rampant tax evasion.”
The Prime Minister of India has been quoted as expressing an intent to bring “black money” back to India. As part of these efforts, people who are keeping money abroad in offshore accounts will face criminal prosecution.
The court has set a deadline of March 2015 in order to complete an investigation of the 627 people who were named on the list of those with foreign bank accounts. By this time, it is expected that legal action will be brought against those who evaded their tax obligations.
Estimates indicate that in 2010, the total illicit financial flows over several decades were estimated at $462 billion. While this may seem like a lot, Trib Live reports that “more than half the world’s money passes almost undetected through a series of financial black holes that shelter it from not only the tax collector but form shareholders, partners and wives.” The people who have their money in these tax shelters are often not breaking the law in any way other than sheltering their money from local taxes, but most governments believe that the funds kept in undeclared offshore accounts are having a significant impact on the economy in addition to lowering tax revenue.
The U.S. government, like the Indian government, is making a dedicated effort to put a stop to people parking their money offshore to avoid taxes. Top bankers and banks are being prosecuted and pressured to turn over information on clients, and more than 38,000 U.S. citizens have voluntarily declared their previously hidden accounts and paid $5.5 billion in back taxes. The aggressive efforts will continue and those who have money offshore need to know that they face a significant risk if they continue not to disclose the accounts.
A Washington DC IRS attorney can help those facing tax evasion charges and can assist with voluntary disclosure to minimize penalties. Contact an attorney to learn more.