Offshore accounts: the next target – MarketWatch

Read this article…. Offshore accounts: the next target – MarketWatch. There article that also appeared in the WSJ. This article discusses a major sting operation from the IRS Criminal Division in the Cayman Islands that should serve as a warning about offshore accounts… It appears that the IRS is expanding their investigation of hidden assets far beyond the net of Switzerland….

A couple of quotes and points that I thought were interesting from the article include:

“The Cayman case illustrates that we have ways of getting information that people don’t know about,” Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Tax Division said at a news conference in New York. “The days of waiting for a warning sign, such as a letter from a bank, are over.”

Keneally also stated that the government receives account information from many sources, including whistleblowers hoping for monetary rewards. She did not comment whether U.S. officials have the names of Americans who hold accounts in the Caymans or elsewhere in the Caribbean as a result of this probe. According to this article, however, Bryan Skarlatos, a lawyer at Kostelanetz & Fink in New York, was quoted as saying “Announcements by the government about this case suggest it already has customer lists although officials can’t confirm it.”

Taxpayers are ineligible to participate in the IRS’s limited-amnesty program for undeclared offshore accounts if U.S. authorities already have their names. The program imposes steep penalties but offers protection against criminal prosecution.

The hunt for hidden assets of U.S. persons continues….