Throughout the world, countries are trying to fight tax evasion and are making new efforts to use every possible resource to catch people who have made efforts to evade their tax obligations. From countries exchanging information on accountholders while discarding longstanding bankruptcy privacy laws to taxing authorities going after banks and bank executives, no stones are being left unturned in an effort to collect all possible revenue.
Just recently, for example, reports indicate that Denmark is actually going to be paying for documents from the Panama Papers. These documents were leaked from a law firm, which should have kept the information safe and confidential. The documents were leaked by an anonymous whistleblower.
Many of the people whose private financial information was made available in these papers had not done anything illegal. Yet, the government is still buying the leaked papers anyway and intends to use them in an effort to go after citizens who are not in full compliance with tax duties.
This purchase is most troubling for Danish citizens who could find themselves under investigation based on information in leaked papers. However, it should be concerning to people worldwide, including in the United States, who have offshore funds.
The purchase shows the lengths countries are going to in an effort to try to find tax violators. If you have money offshore, the chances of it being found increase exponentially as the global tax evasion crackdown continues. A New Jersey tax attorney can help those with undeclared offshore funds to identify proactive approaches to resolve tax problems which result in the minimal possible penalties.
Panama Papers Purchase Puts Accountholder Data in Government Hands
The Panama Papers is the name used for 11.5 million leaked files which give an unprecedented insider glimpse into how offshore entities and offshore accounts are used to conceal identities and protect privacy.
Danish authorities were offered the chance to purchase information from the Panama Papers from an anonymous source and they decided to take this opportunity and buy the leaked documents. The taxation minister said the purchase will “cost a single-digit million kroner, where 9 million is equivalent to $1.4 million.”
For this expense, Denmark is expected to receive information about approximately 600 people in Denmark. Parliament reportedly supported purchasing the papers because of a belief that the “material contains relevant and valid information about several hundred Danish taxpayers.”
The offer to purchase was made to the Customs and Tax Administration, and it was accepted because of a belief that the government owes it to all Danish taxpayers “who faithfully pay their taxes” to conduct an investigation of those Danish citizens who may not be paying as required.
Other countries may follow suit to obtain and use information from the Panama Papers, but whether they do or not, this decision still clearly shows how far countries are willing to go to try to find people who are evading their tax duties. Anyone who has offshore funds should be concerned about being found out if those funds are undeclared, and should consult with attorney Kevin Thorn for help in deciding how best to resolve the problem of the undeclared accounts.