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Another Foreign Bank Agrees to Provide Incriminating Information About FBAR Violators to DOJ

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    According to a Department of Justice press release, another Swiss bank has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with U.S. authorities and agreed to help in the investigation and prosecution of Americans who have failed to properly report their foreign bank accounts and related taxable foreign investment earnings under the Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) regime and U.S. income tax law. If you have a foreign bank account that has gone undeclared especially where a significant amount of related taxable offshore income went unreported, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options to come into compliance without facing criminal tax and foreign information reporting prosecution.

    Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes (potentially including non-filed foreign information returns coupled with affirmative evasion of U.S. income tax on offshore income) self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosurebefore the IRS has started an audit or criminal tax investigation / prosecution, the taxpayer can ordinarily be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously often receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply. 

    It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable criminal tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. Only an Attorney has the Attorney Client Privilege and Work Product Privileges that will prevent the very professional that you hire from being potentially being forced to become a witness against you, especially where they prepared the returns that need to be amended, in a subsequent criminal tax audit, investigation or prosecution.

    Moreover, only an Attorney can enter you into a voluntary disclosure without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (a crime in itself). Only an Attorney trained in Criminal Tax Defense fully understands the risks and rewards involved in voluntary disclosures and how to protect you if you do not qualify for a voluntary disclosure.

    As uniquely qualified and extensively experienced Criminal Tax Defense Tax Attorneys, KovelCPAs and EAs, our firm provides a one stop shop to efficiently achieve the optimal and predictable results that simultaneously protect your liberty and your net worth. See our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!

    Swiss Bank Helped Americans Stash Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Secret Accounts

    Court records reveal that RAHN+BODMER CO., a financial institution headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland admitted to actively assisting Americans maintain secret foreign bank accounts that should have been reported on an annual basis as a part of the FBAR regime. Additionally, the bank admitted to helping Americans file false U.S. federal income tax returns omitting critical aspects of their foreign bank account ownership. The Department of Justice estimates that the total value of the secret accounts maintained by RAHN+BODMER was in the hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars.

    Last week, the Department of Justice announced criminal charges against RAHN+BODMER and simultaneously announced that the Swiss financial institution had entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department. As a part of the agreement, the defendant will provide detail as to their wrongdoing, fully cooperate with the Department of Justice, and pay restitution in the amount of $22 million, representing, in part, the tax loss that was caused by their actions.

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    Coming into FBAR Compliance Before it is Too Late.

    U.S. law requires that Americans report any ownership or signature authority over and combination of foreign bank or financial accounts with a combined high balance of $10,000 or more at any point during the year. Those who have a reporting requirement that willfully fail to comply with the FBAR regime can face up to five years in prison and be liable for a penalty of up to 50% of the high balance of the account over the 6-year FBAR statute of limitations. The repercussions for failing to disclose the existence of a foreign bank account can be life changing.

    If you have a foreign bank account and have failed to disclose its existence, financial institutions like the defendant in the case above that have entered into deferred prosecution agreements will make it nearly impossible to avoid eventually being caught. Foreign banks all over the world have literally lined up to cooperate with the Department of Justice to avoid criminal prosecution. This means that banks around the world who enter such agreements with the Justice Department have agreed to provide incriminating information about their customers.

    The good news is that there are still methods to come into compliance while minimizing the potential devastating consequences of an offshore criminal tax evasion or foreign information reporting investigation or prosecution. If you have a foreign bank account that has not yet been disclosed to the U.S. government, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced international criminal tax defense attorney today to discuss your options to get right with the government. Your seasoned tax lawyer will work with you to establish the particular facts of your case and help craft an optimal strategy to bring you into FBAR compliance.

    Questions and Answers About Foreign Tax Audits

    Questions and Answers about FBAR Compliance and Disclosure

    Questions and Answers about Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI)

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