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UBS

The IRS and US Department of Justice (DOJ) continue to investigate US taxpayers who hid funds in offshore accounts in Switzerland at famed Swiss bank UBS.  Following the landmark settlement with UBS, the US government is now negotiating with the Swiss to disclose more US taxpayers with accounts at other Swiss banks, including private cantonal banks once renowned for their secrecy. In particular, the IRS is looking for people who moved accounts from UBS to other Swiss banks. Now is the time for US taxpayers with offshore accounts worldwide to ensure that their foreign accounts and assets are properly reported to the IRS or face steep financial penalties and criminal charges when their information is disclosed to the IRS by the Swiss or other governments and banking authorities. Taxpayers who have not disclosed their offshore accounts to the IRS are encouraged to enter the IRS voluntary disclosure program.

The Thorn Law Group represents U.S. 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 the Department of Justice for failure to disclose their offshore 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 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 at any time.

To take advantage of this 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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