June 22, 2021

WSJ: IRS Using New Tools to Find If You Are Hiding Money Overseas

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By F McGuire From Newsmax

The Internal Revenue Service reportedly is getting better at finding secret stashes of overseas cash.

As a result of the government’s prying eyes, “tax evaders are receiving harsher penalties than ever, including prison,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

Since a crackdown began in 2009, more than 55,800 people have paid more than $9.9 billion to come clean on such accounts, the Journal explained.

The IRS is looking for U.S. tax dodgers scouring data provided by banks in Switzerland and the Panama Papers, which were published last year and contain account details for hundreds of thousands of offshore entities, WSJ.com explained.

Meanwhile, “more than seven million Americans living outside the U.S. pay taxes where they reside, but they haven’t complied with U.S. tax rules on foreign accounts. As a result, they have felt sandbagged by the offshore-account crackdown and horrified by potential large penalties,” the Journal explained.

Record numbers have renounced their U.S. citizenship, according to Treasury Department data.

The IRS’ Streamlined Filing Compliance program, for example, allows many Americans abroad to escape penalties for past noncompliance. So far, 48,000 U.S. taxpayers have signed up and paid a total of $450 million to resolve issues.

The Journal also warned of another enforcement program “outing” foreign accounts to the IRS.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, was enacted by Congress in 2010 and requires foreign financial institutions to report the account information of U.S. taxpayers either directly to the IRS or to government authorities that send it to the IRS.

Rep. Mark Meadows and Sen. Rand Paul have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney urging President Donald Trump take action to “mitigate the ongoing damage” caused by FATCA.

FATCA is designed to ferret out individuals who have unreported offshore bank accounts and other assets. The controversial law requires financial institutions to share information about Americans’ accounts worth more than $50,000.

Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group and Co-Leader of the Campaign to Repeal FATCA, applauded the letter. “This is a major landmark moment,” Green, also a Newsmax Finance Insider, said of the letter.

To be sure fellow Newsmax Finance Insider Denis Kleinfeld wonders if Republican lawmakers will ever get around to repealing FATCA.

“Because of FATCA, U.S. persons are unwelcome as customers not only with financial institutions but other businesses. With some 8 million Americans living abroad, this has resulted into their being trapped in a traumatic situation,” Kleinfeld explained in his exclusive Newsmax Finance commentary.

“The greatest concern is the complete loss of financial privacy. FATCA treats everyone holding a financial account anywhere in the world as a U.S. tax evader unless the account holder can prove otherwise,” he wrote.

“Think of it this way: For anyone owning a financial account, the Fourth Amendment doesn’t exist. The government no longer needs probable cause or any cause to require the account holder to give to the government every year even the smallest financial details. Under FATCA, privacy is dead.”

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report)

Image: WSJ: IRS Using New Tools to Find If You Are Hiding Money Overseas
Rafael Ben Ari | Dreamstime.com

For more on this story go to: http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/StreetTalk/IRS-Hiding-Money-Overseas/2017/06/04/id/794052/?ns_mail_uid=64942667&ns_mail_job=1734843_06052017&s=al&dkt_nbr=ngz8lktr

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