Wednesday, August 19, 2009
IRS Overseas Income Amnesty
"Wealthy taxpayers have inundated the [IRS] in recent weeks with requests to come clean for past tax evasion, amid a government crackdown on undeclared income from overseas accounts. ... 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. ... The UBS matter represents the government's highest-profile efforts to capture some of the billions of dollars in revenue lost to offshore tax evasion annually. ... The US and UBS continue to wrangle over how many account-holder names the bank will turn over. On Wednesday, a UBS attorney told Judge Alan Gold, of the US Southern District of Florida in Miami, that the bank was close to reaching a settlement. In a statement Wednesday, UBS said the parties are having 'productive discussions' but have yet to reach an agreement", Laura Saunders and Carrick Mollenkamp at the WSJ, 30 July 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124887938516790353.html.
Will the IRS have the DOJ file criminal charges, or is this a bluff? With 115 million tax returns filed annually in a typical year, only 1,000 persons are charged with criminal tax evasion. The DOJ even settled with Olenicoff, my 20 May 2008 post, link: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/05/sentencing-snipes-2.html, for no prison time. How much time will the DOJ allot to this instead of Wall Street malfeasance? Billions, hah? How much did Uncle Sam spend on AIG? Consider sending Eric Holder a letter telling him you think the DOJ has better things to do with its time than harass these UBS account holders, like say, find something to charge Lloyd Blankfein with.