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Offshore account information and John Doe summonses

The IRS has at its disposal a large number of options for pursing offshore account information. For example, there was a recent federal court action that allowed for the IRS to serve a John Doe summons to access offshore account information tied to debit cards. The IRS uses such a tool to access information that could possibly reveal violations of tax laws.

Federal authorities view the federal court ruling as a victory. "This action will help ensure that pre-paid cards aren't being inappropriately used to repatriate hidden income and avoid taxes," said one IRS commissioner. This is all a part of IRS efforts to prevent taxpayers from evading federal tax laws through the use of offshore accounts.

This is not the first time that a federal court authorized this sort of action. Another federal court allowed the U.S. Justice Department to issue eight John Doe summonses related to a particular bank. This is all a part of a crack down on what officials feel is tax evasion.

Offshore account information requires proper reporting. It is also important to remember that federal laws and regulations pertaining to offshore account reporting are extremely complex. When you have questions regarding reporting requirements, it is important to not make assumptions. It often takes experienced legal representation to find the correct answers to your inquiries.

Michigan account holders can no longer conclude that offshore account information will remain private. Unfortunately, the reporting requirements can be so confusing that mistakes will happen, and the inability to keep track of requirements could lead to significant consequences. Besides criminal penalties, this may include seizure of assets and finances.

Compliance is therefore absolutely essential.

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