The federal government’s crackdown on Americans’ undeclared offshore bank accounts is continuing apace. The Obama administration has made it a priority to track down uncollected revenue from any and all sources available, and the holding of untaxed and undeclared money in offshore accounts has been a prime target of the Internal Revenue Service, the Treasury Department and the Department of Justice.
The government is nearing the end of its amnesty program that encourages undeclared offshore account holders to come forward voluntarily in exchange for a promise that the taxpayer will not receive a jail sentence. That program ends on the last day of August. However, the amnesty will not apply to taxpayers with undeclared foreign accounts if the government has already discovered the offshore holdings.
A podiatrist who had an account with Swiss banking giant UBS has been caught up in the crackdown. UBS agreed in 2009 to pay a fine of over $750,000 to the U.S. government to avoid prosecution for aiding tax evasion by Americans. The bank gave prosecutors the names of many American account holders. The podiatrist is apparently one of the people whose name was revealed by UBS.
The podiatrist is prepared to plead guilty this week to failing to report his offshore account with UBS. Orange County offshore account lawyers noted that news reports did not reveal the size of the podiatrists UBS account.
Taxpayers who fail to report their offshore accounts are subject not only to criminal charges, but also to harsh financial penalties that can wipe out and even exceed the value of the offshore accounts.
Source: Bloomberg “Ex-UBS Client to Plead Guilty in New York to Hiding Swiss Bank Account” 7/14/2011