The crackdown on Americans with undisclosed foreign bank accounts continues as another prosecution has resulted in a California businessman being sentenced to federal prison for nearly two years. Although the IRS and Department of Justice have been on an all-out offensive against taxpayers who do not disclose their ownership in foreign bank accounts for the past decade, they aren’t showing any signs of letting up. If you have an interest or signatory authority in a foreign bank account that has not been reported on an annual basis, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Teymour Khoubian, a Beverly Hills businessman, was sentenced to serve 21 months in federal prison as a result of being convicted on charges of filing false tax returns, on which Khoubian failed to disclose the existence of income earned on bank accounts in Israel and Germany.
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Court documents revealed that in 2009 and 2010, Khoubian failed to report foreign financial accounts in Israel and Germany. Additionally, Khoubian failed to report income associated with those accounts during the same period. The account in Israel was reported to have between $15 and $20 million balance during the period in which Khoubian was required to report its existence and any income that resulted from it.
Prosecutors and the IRS asserted that Khoubian’s accounts yielded more than $4 million of interest income between 2005 and 2010 that went unreported on his federal income tax returns. The IRS estimated that the tax loss related to the underpayment of tax was in excess of $1 million.
During the IRS investigation into Khoubian’s foreign bank accounts, he made several false statements to IRS investigators including that he did not own any bank accounts in foreign jurisdictions and that he moved all of his money from his German bank account back to the United States. Investigators discovered that when Khoubian was requested to complete a W-9 form by one of his foreign banks, he refused and indicated that he would have to pay tax if he did.
In addition to his term of incarceration, Khoubian was ordered to pay over $600,000 in restitution to the IRS. Khoubian was also ordered to, and paid, a Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) penalty of over $7,500,000, in addition to interest and penalties for the failure to disclose his foreign financial accounts.
FBAR rules require Americans to disclose the existence of an interest or signatory authority in a foreign financial account if the balance of such account is in excess of $10,000 at any point during the year. Americans are required to disclose such account whether it is earning interest income or not. Additionally, taxpayers are required to report any interest that is earned from bank accounts, domestic or foreign, on an annual basis as a part of their individual federal tax return.
Over the past decade, the Department of Justice has been working with the IRS to crack down on Americans with unreported foreign bank accounts. The U.S. has established agreements with other nations in an effort to share information about the owners of bank accounts among taxing authorities. This cooperation has opened up a river of information between nations and has increased concern for those who have yet to report their interest in a foreign bank account.
If you have an interest in or signatory authority over a foreign bank account and have not disclosed its existence to the federal government on an annual basis, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced FBAR defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will work with you to understand your individual facts and circumstances and help you develop a strategy aimed at minimizing the impact of FBAR noncompliance.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience assisting taxpayers with foreign bank accounts that have not yet been disclosed to the government. Whether you have simply failed to report your foreign bank account and are looking to get right with the government or the government is investigating you for willfully failing to complete an FBAR filing, our team of zealous advocates is ready to help you develop a strategy aimed at maintaining your physical and financial freedom. Do not an undeclared bank account keep you up at night. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.
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