Saturday, October 17, 2015

Article Reporting Government Officials on Enforcement Efforts for Offshore Compliance (10/17/15)

Tax Notes Today reports on a recent International Tax Enforcement conference, sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Taxation and the Tax Executives Institute.  Nathan J. Richman,  DOJ 'Happy to Talk to Anybody' on Foreign Disclosures, 2015 TNT 201-7 (10/19/15) [No link available].

Key points which caught my attention are:

1. Consistent with the title, the DOJ indicated an interest in talking with financial institutions other than Swiss banks who may want to resolve their U.S. criminal exposure.  The background for this was the Finacor SA resolution announced earlier.  See Swiss Asset Manager Settles Up with DOJ Tax (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 10/6/15), here.

2. DOJ Tax's "enforcement efforts will continue to extend beyond Switzerland."

3.  Investigations of category 1 Swiss banks are proceeding and, at a minimum, those banks "will be required to meet the obligations that are being imposed on category 2 banks,"

4.  Investigations of category 3 banks seeking non-target letters are "moving along," whatever that means.

5.  In addressing the relative disparity between unreported income and the FBAR penalty, Acting AAG Tax Carline Carolo said that the FBAR penalty punishes conduct other than tax noncompliance; hence, in effect, there is no comparison.  JAT Comment:  Why then does the FBAR and OVDP offshore penalty go away if there is no tax noncompliance?  Isn't the civil fraud penalty supposed to be the penalty for tax noncompliance?

6.  As previously reported, there will likely be more John Doe Summonses related to offshore noncompliance.

7.  The 2014 Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures have been used by 20,000 taxpayers.

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