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Offshore tax enforcement continues

It is not a time for Michigan residents to rest easy about tax compliance and foreign accounts. Rather than pulling back on enforcement pertaining to offshore accounts, it appears that the IRS in increasing such enforcement during our summer months.

On July 19, a Swiss National and former employee of Credit Suisse entered a guilty plea pertaining to defrauding the IRS. And residents of the U.S. are also facing recent charges of tax fraud regarding failure to disclose foreign accounts.

During the past few months, it seemed that IRS enforcement activity pertaining to foreign accounts was minimal. Now it is evident that enforcement will continue.

There are two things that taxpayers need to keep in mind when it comes to reporting concerning foreign accounts. Despite reporting complexities, it is important to report foreign accounts and income correctly to avoid unwanted attention from the IRS. Also, it is important to have in your corner experienced attorney representation in the event you face accusations of irregularities.

Enforcement concerning offshore accounts began in earnest back in 2008. Since then, large numbers of U.S. citizens have faced criminal charges due to such Justice Department activity. And penalties regarding offshore financial accounts can be severe.

Alleged noncompliance with reporting rules can mean wage garnishment, asset seizure, account levies, seized assets and jail time. Even a tax audit arising due to supposed irregularities can prove to be stressful. Audits can lead to further IRS action. It is therefore important for taxpayers to take the reporting of foreign accounts and assets seriously.

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