Monday, May 21, 2012

Use of Offshore Insurance Scams & Merchant Accounts to Evade Taxes - IRS Zeroing in on.

According to senior government officials, the government is continuing to crack down on offshore tax avoidance in a variety of ways, including a new focus on the use of offshore insurance companies and offshore merchant accounts to hide assets.

       
Officials described many facets of an overall goal to stopping tax evasion, speaking to the Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee May 12 at the spring meeting of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation.
        

, said in addition to multiple investigations of banks that are ongoing, the government has initiatives in earlier stages that it expects will be productive as well.         

IRS is looking at offshore insurance scams that involve “protected cell corporations,” in which a taxpayer's money goes into a cell that is separate from all the company's other investors, John McDougal, a special trial attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel said.
        
In this structure, he said, “it appears that you're one of many shareholders in the company, but it's really designed to disguise the fact that you're controlling your own funds in your own protected cell. That's really subject to abuse and we're going to be looking at this.”          

In a second area, the government is looking at offshore merchant accounts used by U.S.-based businesses to divert their credit card income offshore. He said the government has already issued a John Doe summons in this area to identify a few cases it can examine and potentially get information that it could use for additional summonses.
        

As those efforts go forward, he said, IRS is using information it has gleaned from its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program to target banks engaging in helping taxpayers hide assets overseas.


If you have IRS Tax Problems, contact the Tax Lawyers at Marini & Associates, P.A. for a FREE Tax Consultation at www.TaxAid.us or www.TaxLaw.ms or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).


     

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