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Bank Leumi

The IRS and US Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of US taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts is not limited to accounts at Swiss banks.  IRS and DOJ officials have announced that they are actively investigating undisclosed offshore accounts located around the world, including Israel.  Recently, IRS and DOJ officials confirmed that they are working with the Israeli bank, Bank Leumi, to identify US taxpayers with undisclosed accounts at Bank Leumi in Israel.

The United States and Israel enjoy a close relationship, and the governments of both countries are working together to uncover tax fraud and other tax violations.  As a result, US taxpayers should assume Bank Leumi and other Israeli banks are sharing information with the IRS.  US taxpayers with offshore accounts or other property in Israel should take steps as soon as possible to ensure their foreign accounts and assets are properly reported to the IRS.  Taxpayers who have not disclosed their accounts to the IRS are encouraged to disclose their offshore accounts through the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program.

The Thorn Law Group represents US taxpayers making voluntary disclosures of their offshore accounts as well as taxpayers who did not make a voluntary disclosure but are being investigated by the IRS and DOJ for failure to disclose their accounts.

On January 9, 2012, the IRS announced its 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program for taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts.

The basic terms of the Voluntary Disclosure Program are:

  1. A 27.5 percent penalty of the undisclosed offshore accounts based on the highest aggregate account balance over an eight-year period.
  2. Participants must pay back taxes and interest on any unreported income for up to eight years as well as accuracy related and/or delinquency penalties.
  3. Participants must file all original and amended tax returns and include payments for taxes, interest and accuracy related penalties.

Taxpayers who successfully complete the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program will likely avoid criminal prosecution or jail time.  They will also not be liable for taxes or penalties prior to the years disclosed in the program.

The IRS has not stated how long the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program will be available, and could close it any time.

To take advantage of this rare opportunity and to potentially avoid substantial civil and criminal penalties, contact Kevin E. Thorn, Managing partner at Thorn Law Group today at ket@thorntaxlaw.com or call (202) 270-7273.

This is an area of ongoing activity by the IRS and the Department of Justice. Check out our News & Events page for the latest developments regarding undisclosed offshore accounts.

 


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