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Focus on Tax Controversy and Litigation - July 2014

In this issue: - Supreme Court Limits Taxpayer’s Ability to Examine the IRS at a Summons Enforcement Hearing - Court Determines Tax Analysis not Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine...more

Can an OVDP Participant Set Aside a Closing Agreement on the Theory of Duress?

It has been just over five years since the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) offered the first of three offshore voluntary disclosure programs for individuals with undisclosed foreign financial accounts. Since the announcement...more

False Foreign Gift Claims and Wire Fraud

A scheme that some dual national taxpayers have used involves claiming exemption from foreign jurisdiction taxation because they are U.S. taxpayers and then not reporting the offshore account or its income as required by U.S....more

"Latest Swiss Cross-Border Tax Investigation Reflects Wider US Enforcement Agenda"

Authorities in the U.S. continue to crack down on foreign financial institutions that have allegedly aided U.S. taxpayers in evading their tax obligations. On May 19, 2014, Credit Suisse AG pled guilty to conspiracy to aid...more

Former Head of DOJ Tax Division Warns Taxpayers to Think Twice Before Choosing New Streamlined Procedures

Former DOJ Tax Division AAG Kathy Keneally warned on June 24, 2014, that taxpayers should think carefully before signing a certification of non-willfulness and entering the IRS’s new Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures....more

Tax Litigation Update: Eleventh Circuit Holds Clear and Convincing Evidence Standard Applies to Penalties Imposed under IRC § 6701

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from the federal district courts in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, ruled earlier this month that in order to impose penalties under IRC § 6701, the government bears...more

IRS Announces Sweeping Changes To Its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs: New Rules Effective July 1, 2014

On Wednesday, June 18, 2014 the Internal Revenue Service announced sweeping changes to its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs, effective Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Some taxpayers are treated much more leniently under expanded...more

IRS Eases Access to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs

The changes give taxpayers who mistakenly failed to report foreign assets a simpler path back to tax compliance. On June 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced major modifications to the terms of its...more

IRS Identifies ‘Attorneys-in-Fact’ as Potentially Required to File Under the Foreign Bank Account Reporting Rules

Most United States persons who have foreign financial accounts are aware that they must file an annual report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with respect to these accounts. Less well known, however, is that individuals...more

IRS Announces Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Modifications and Revised Streamlined Procedures

On June 18, 2014, the IRS made significant changes to the procedures pursuant to which U.S. Persons can disclose any failure to timely file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), and/or an international...more

The Credit Suisse Case: Did the Justice Department Lose its Nerve?

As the old adage goes, appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you peel back the layers on an issue, you find out that everyone, even the Justice Department, can engage in “spin.”...more

Updated Roadmap To IRS’ 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program For Taxpayers With Undisclosed Offshore Accounts

On June 18, 2014 the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced a modification to the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”). The 2014 OVDP is a continuation of the 2012 program with modified terms. The voluntary...more

IRS Modifies Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and Expands Streamlined Procedures

On June 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced major changes to its 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and streamlined procedures. The modifications provide new options to help both taxpayers...more

IRS Announces Major Changes to OVDP

On June 18, 2014, the IRS announced major changes to the OVDP, including a major expansion of the so-called Streamlined Program and an increased penalties for taxpayers who held accounts at banks that are under criminal...more

Administrative and criminal violations involving the same fact: the recent positions of the European Court of Human Rights and of...

The European Court of Human Rights takes a stand on the ne bis in idem principle intervening on the relationship between administrative and criminal violations involving identical facts. Two recent decisions give interesting...more

IRS Offshore Enforcement Update

In a recent appearance before THE U.S. Conference for International Business the IRS Commissioner stated the following: “One of the most exciting aspects of our current times is to see governments working...more

Florida Doctor Sentenced for Defrauding the IRS

On May 9, 2014, a Florida doctor was sentenced to serve two years in prison and three years supervised release for conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The doctor was found guilty of concealing millions...more

International Tax Compliance Update: IRS Hints at Coming Changes for Certain OVDP Filers

Remarks on Monday by John Koskinen, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, indicate that the IRS is close to conceding to outside pressure to more clearly distinguish between Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) filers...more

DOJ Issues Further Guidance on Swiss Bank Program

Recently the Justice Department’s Tax Division issued further “comments” regarding its “Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks.” In prior posts we have described this program designed to...more

FBAR Penalty to Face Excessive Fines Clause Test

Last week, a federal jury in Miami found that Carl Zwerner had willfully failed to disclose his foreign bank account to the Treasury Department for calendar years 2004, 2005 and 2006. Zwerner now potentially owes the United...more

Credit Suisse Pleads Guilty to DOJ Charge of Conspiracy to Aid Tax Evasion; FRB and NYDFS Take Related Actions

As widely reported in the financial press, Credit Suisse AG (“Credit Suisse”), a large Swiss bank that maintains a branch and other offices in the United States pleaded guilty to the felony of conspiracy to aid tax evasion by...more

Swiss Bank Pleads Guilty In Alleged Tax Evasion Conspiracy

On May 19, the DOJ announced that a Swiss bank pleaded guilty and entered into agreements with federal and state regulators to resolve a multi-year investigation into the bank’s alleged conspiracy to assist U.S. taxpayers in...more

The Taxman Cometh for US Holders of Foreign Bank Accounts

U.S. citizens and residents with unreported assets abroad may be feeling a steady increase of pressure these days. The July 1, 2014 effective date of the Foreign Assets Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is looming. The number of...more

On The Chopping Block: Banks And Financial Institutions

The Department of Justice has had enough. Banks and other financial institutions are not just on the radar screen – they are on the chopping block. One-by-one watch out – banks and other financial institutions are coming...more

FATCA Update: As Additional Countries Agree to Share International Tax Information, Hiding Assets Abroad becomes Increasingly...

In recent years the United States has increasingly amplified the pressure on United States persons to disclose assets they hold and income they earn abroad, especially relating to offshore financial accounts. Two prominent...more

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