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Swiss bank account list audit
Old 08-20-2009, 11:33 AM   #1
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Swiss bank account list audit

What do you think will come out of this? Do you think the current administration will pursue those involved? Cletis
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:35 AM   #2
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I am sure the IRS will extract back taxes and penalties. Doubt anything else will be done.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:42 AM   #3
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What do you think will come out of this? Do you think the current administration will pursue those involved? Cletis
I'd expect a limited-time amnesty program for those who voluntarily pay back taxes and interest within a certain time frame. Beyond that, no idea.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:51 PM   #4
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I'm not sure about an amnesty--any US citizen who hid their money in these accounts did it deliberately to evade US taxes. That's just like not reporting income, and if the IRS isn't giving an amnesty to waitresses for unreported tips, I sure don't want them giving high rollers any special breaks.

I also expect there will be some public repercussions for high-profile folks who were hiding funds in these accounts. The names will become public and any politician or well-connected person on it will get some unwanted attention. Good.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:54 PM   #5
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I'm not sure about an amnesty--any US citizen who hid their money in these accounts did it deliberately to evade US taxes. That's just like not reporting income, and if the IRS isn't giving an amnesty to waitresses for unreported tips, I sure don't want them giving high rollers any special breaks.
Whether I want it or not isn't the point -- the question was about what we expect to happen. There are plenty of things that happen in politics and government that I don't WANT to happen, but fully expect to happen.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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Whether I want it or not isn't the point -- the question was about what we expect to happen. There are plenty of things that happen in politics and government that I don't WANT to happen, but fully expect to happen.
Yep, I know a lot of things happen that I don't agree with. I'm glad I didn't write or imply that you thought an amnesty was a good idea, because then you'd have reason to get grumpy.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:36 PM   #7
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It looks like people who hid accounts in Switzerland have until September 23 (at which date the temporary amnesty program already in place will expire) to come forward and disclose those accounts to the IRS. As long as they accept to pay back taxes, interests and penalties, they will not be prosecuted (unless other aggravating circumstances are uncovered). The catch is: they have to come forward before the IRS discovers their identity or all bets are off. I believe that the IRS will come hard after unrepenting cheaters in order to discourage other people from evading taxes in the future.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:37 PM   #8
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From the WSj on 7/30
Tax Evaders Flock to IRS to Confess Their Sins - WSJ.com

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Wealthy taxpayers have inundated the Internal Revenue Service in recent weeks with requests to come clean for past tax evasion, amid a government crackdown on undeclared income from overseas accounts.
The volume has been so great that Wednesday, the IRS issued a streamlined, three-page form for taxpayers seeking entry into its temporary voluntary-disclosure program.
"Last week we had 400 [applicants] -- four times as many as in all of last year," said IRS spokesman Frank Keith, who declined to provide more detailed figures.
Two main factors appear to be driving the clemency-seeking spree. The IRS disclosure program, which began in March and is set to end Sept. 23, offers Americans the possibility that they may face civil charges, which can carry lower penalties than criminal charges, for volunteering details of tax evasion.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:41 PM   #9
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It looks like people who hid accounts in Switzerland have until September 23 (at which date the temporary amnesty program already in place will expire) to come forward and disclose those accounts to the IRS. As long as they accept to pay back taxes, interests and penalties, they will not be prosecuted (unless other aggravating circumstances are uncovered). The catch is: they have to come forward before the IRS discovers their identity or all bets are off. I believe that the IRS will come hard after unrepenting cheaters in order to discourage other people from evading taxes in the future.
In the case of Switzerland only 10% or less of American owned accounts are suspect of (tax evasion) even in those cases (the account holders)have the right to challenge in court, before the release of names to the USA.

Many people confuse "Tax avoidance" and "Tax evasion"!
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:50 PM   #10
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The full article can be accessed here (I'm not a WSJ subscriber).
Tax Evaders Flock to IRS to Confess Sins - MarketWatch

All I can say is it's about time. For those of us who have paid so much over the years, this should be a welcome development.
I hate taxes, but I think I hate privileged tax evaders more.

The IRS' approach makes for an interesting game of "chicken".
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:58 PM   #11
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I'm just worred if my name shows up on that list ...
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:18 PM   #12
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In the case of Switzerland only 10% or less of American owned accounts are suspect of (tax evasion) even in those cases (the account holders)have the right to challenge in court, before the release of names to the USA.

Many people confuse "Tax avoidance" and "Tax evasion"!
It is illegal for US tax residents to have undeclared foreign accounts amounting to more than $10,000. Whether you owe taxes on the money or not, you have to declare your accounts to the Treasury department. Not doing so is illegal. Obviously, if these UBS clients had declared their accounts to the Treasury department, the IRS would not need to strong arm the Swiss government to release information they already had. So it's safe to say that many, if not all those people, broke the law by not disclosing their accounts. Since those accounts were not declared, they probably also failed to report the income generated by those accounts to the IRS, which is also illegal. Now, I am pretty sure that the IRS knows the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. If they are going after those people, it's clearly because they think they committed tax evasion. In addition, the Swiss government can, by law, only release the name of people suspected of tax fraud, and therefore, for any name released, clear indications of misconduct must exist.
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:22 PM   #13
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In the case of Switzerland only 10% or less of American owned accounts are suspect of (tax evasion) even in those cases (the account holders)have the right to challenge in court, before the release of names to the USA.

Many people confuse "Tax avoidance" and "Tax evasion"!
Can you provide more info on your 10% figure? I'd be surprised if it the percent of the US-held Swiss accounts involved in tax evasion is that low.
Sure, some people went to the trouble of opening a Swiss account because they like the free pens, toaster and calendars they get from their Swiss banker, and some want the perceived security of havingtheir money in Swiss francs. But, really . . .
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:56 PM   #14
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The full article can be accessed here (I'm not a WSJ subscriber).
Tax Evaders Flock to IRS to Confess Sins - MarketWatch

All I can say is it's about time. For those of us who have paid so much over the years, this should be a welcome development.
I hate taxes, but I think I hate privileged tax evaders more.

The IRS' approach makes for an interesting game of "chicken".
Ditto sentiments here about disgust for privileged tax cheats.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:32 PM   #15
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Can you provide more info on your 10% figure? I'd be surprised if it the percent of the US-held Swiss accounts involved in tax evasion is that low.
Sure, some people went to the trouble of opening a Swiss account because they like the free pens, toaster and calendars they get from their Swiss banker, and some want the perceived security of havingtheir money in Swiss francs. But, really . . .
Out of UBS's 52,000 American client accounts the deal reached is for 4,450 account holders info.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:56 PM   #16
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It is illegal for US tax residents to have undeclared foreign accounts amounting to more than $10,000. Whether you owe taxes on the money or not, you have to declare your accounts to the Treasury department. Not doing so is illegal. ....

Wow. If that's the law then it's the sort of law I'd feel un-American NOT breaking. Far as I'm concerned if I've earned money and paid the taxes on it then that's the end of the story. I'm gonna bury it or burn it or buy gold with it and doggon it if I want to take it to Switzerland and stick it in a box then that's what I ought to do. Sounds like the kind of law that might have been enacted sometime in the last 10 years to keep us homegrown terrorists from funding a terrer cell. terrer.

I assume that law does not apply to foreign nationals who work in the US and send their pay home to some other country?

Grumble grumble - what's this country coming to - time was when being an American meant something..
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:59 PM   #17
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It is illegal for US tax residents to have undeclared foreign accounts amounting to more than $10,000. Whether you owe taxes on the money or not, you have to declare your accounts to the Treasury department. Not doing so is illegal. Obviously, if these UBS clients had declared their accounts to the Treasury department, the IRS would not need to strong arm the Swiss government to release information they already had. So it's safe to say that many, if not all those people, broke the law by not disclosing their accounts. Since those accounts were not declared, they probably also failed to report the income generated by those accounts to the IRS, which is also illegal. Now, I am pretty sure that the IRS knows the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. If they are going after those people, it's clearly because they think they committed tax evasion. In addition, the Swiss government can, by law, only release the name of people suspected of tax fraud, and therefore, for any name released, clear indications of misconduct must exist.
Many Americans and American originated companies are not residents for tax purposes! People and companies move from state to state or country to country in search of better tax treatment (Tax Havens) and yes there are Tax cheats amongst them.

Most Americans are naive to the fact that the USA is the worlds largest Tax Haven! Millions of foreigners have bank and brokerage accounts in the US because the IRS turns a blind eye on interest and capital gains!

Now that the USA has successfully sued a Swiss bank it is going to turn around and bite them in the A$$! Hugo Chavez (amongst others)is preparing a lawsuit as you read this against banks and brokerage accounts in the USA to turn over account holders of their nationals. There will be an inevitable "flight of capital" to follow.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:02 PM   #18
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That does not mean only 10% are tax evaders. It means those are probably the most blatent.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:12 PM   #19
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I wish my name would show up on that list....
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:17 PM   #20
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I assume that law does not apply to foreign nationals who work in the US and send their pay home to some other country?
I am a EU national living and working in the US (green card holder) and I can assure you that, every year, I have to declare all my European accounts to the IRS, including the name of institution in which they are held, the account numbers and the amount of money I have in them. It feels weird to have to disclose accounts I own in my own country to the taxing authority of another country, but it's the law.
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