IRS Investigating Israel and Singapore Banks

If you currently have assets in Israel or Singapore, it would be wise to consult an experienced international tax attorney to determine if you may be at risk of being investigated and/or prosecuted for unpaid tax liabilities.

 

U.S. Justice Department Increasing Investigations

As Swiss banks continue to open up their records to the U.S. Justice Department, the trail of untaxed money is leading to other countries, including Israel and Singapore. 41 Swiss banks have signed amnesty agreements this year with the U.S. Justice Department.  These agreements require them to disclose customer information, as well as other banks and middlemen who have aided in the hiding of financial assets from the IRS.  This information is giving U.S. investigators the tools they need to build cases against individuals and institutions in other countries.

 

Caroline Ciraolo, the Justice Department’s top tax prosecutor, states “the money is moving out of Switzerland to a variety of jurisdictions, we’re following leads and following the money, wherever that leads us.”  Financial institutions in Singapore and Israel are possible targets, according to lawyers and prosecutors.

 

Singapore Banks and Money Management Firms Under Investigation

U.S. agents have interviewed taxpayers who have used banks and money management firms in Singapore to hide assets from the IRS, according to attorney’s who have represented some of those taxpayers.  Ciraolo stated, “certainly, Singapore would be one of the jurisdictions that we’re looking at.”

 

Israeli Banks Drawing Special Focus from the Justice Department

Israeli banks have drawn special focus from the Justice Department. Last year then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole cited “an ongoing and extensive investigation” into hidden bank accounts in Israel. Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. agreed to pay $400 million to resolve its criminal case. The data coming directly from Swiss banks are supplementing a separate trove the IRS gathered from 50,000 U.S. taxpayers who disclosed their offshore accounts and paid $7 billion in back taxes, fines and penalties since 2009.