International Tax Gap Attorneys in Houston
The Internal Revenue Service has increased its monitoring and investigative reach in regard to offshore bank accounts and assets. Under new laws, calculations regarding disclosure of overseas accounts are now more stringent than ever. Recently, more and more international financial institutions and banks have agreed to provide client lists to the IRS after the IRS successfully sued Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) for its list of American clients. Here, it is the nondisclosure of an overseas bank account that is illegal, not the fact that you have one.
Currently, if you have more than $10,000 in an overseas account, you are required to declare it on an annual information return, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), even if you don’t owe any taxes on it. If you have an overseas bank account and have not disclosed it to the IRS by filing an FBAR — even if it contains less than $10,000 — if the IRS find out about it, they will likely assume you have a criminal motive for not declaring it. If you have substantial assets in overseas bank accounts, the financial and criminal penalties can be significant, including prison.
If you are an investor, owner of a small business, or an entrepreneur with money in undeclared overseas bank accounts, it’s important to contact an experienced tax lawyer who can explain what your options are and help you avoid unwanted legal complications. To discuss your case during a free, confidential consultation, contact our international tax attorneys at the Pro Tax Councel today. We are based in Houston and have satellite offices in Seattle and Mexico.
Approaching the IRS Before They Approach You
In 2009, the IRS instituted a one-time amnesty period, allowing taxpayers having unreported foreign income or bank accounts to come forward under the auspices of a formal Voluntary Disclosure Program. Though this amnesty period expired on October 15, 2009, there are still options available to taxpayers who are not in compliance and wish to come forward voluntarily. For more information, see our page on tax amnesty.
In most cases, the IRS is willing to forego prosecution and criminal charges when a person approaches them first to report undisclosed bank accounts. In the case of small- or medium-sized businesses, the IRS will likely conduct an audit to determine how much money was unreported and how much interest is involved. Typically, back taxes and interest are assessed and a penalty paid as well. In most cases where someone steps forward and cooperates, they can avoid being sent to jail or prison.
Our tax compliance attorneys help clients cooperate with the IRS in order to avoid harsher penalties and prison time.
Avoiding Obstruction of Justice Charges
Destroying, removing, or withholding records and other information that is material evidence in an investigation constitute obstruction of justice. If you are under investigation or are in the process of cooperating with the IRS, it’s essential that you understand what you are required to do in order to cooperate with the authorities. Our attorneys can help you avoid obstruction charges while taking steps to help you avoid self-incrimination. Here, when disclosing international bank accounts before the IRS finds out about them on their own, providing pertinent financial information without disclosing what is unnecessary is key.
Contact International Tax Gap Attorneys at the Pro Tax Councel
The international tax gap can be a source of significant legal trouble for individual investors and small businesses. To ensure you are in compliance with existing law or to step forward to avoid additional legal complications, contact U.S. tax law compliance attorneys at the Pro Tax Councel today.