On February 19, 2020, the IRS issued a news release announcing that "it will step up efforts to visit high-income taxpayers who in prior years have failed to timely file one or more of their tax returns."1 Specifically, IRS revenue officers (trained civil enforcement officers) across the nation will be increasing their in-person visits with high-income taxpayers who have not filed tax returns in 2018 or earlier years. While the IRS claims that the primary goals of these visits are to inform high-income taxpayers of their reporting and paying obligations and to bring them into compliance, the IRS emphasizes that:
A new tax enforcement organization is set to ramp up the nation’s ability to keep an eye out for tax evasion. The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, or J5, may sound like something out of the Marvel Universe. In reality, it is a collaborative effort of five major intelligence communities working together to bring down those accused of tax evasion.
They cooperate. At least that is what happened when the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently went after a Swiss bank accused of helping United States citizens hide assets and avoid tax obligations.
On November 6, 2019, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the capture of a tax fugitive.1 According to the DOL announcement, the fugitive was a tax fraud promoter who had been on the run since the date he was supposed to start serving a 10-year prison sentence. The agency labeled him a fugitive after he failed to report for his prison sentence in March 2019.
The United States tax code requires those who pay tax obligations to report all assets, including those held overseas. The government has passed recent laws that are intended to encourage foreign financial institutions to aid in finding U.S. taxpayers that are attempting to avoid reporting these assets.
United States citizens living outside of the United States may still owe taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS has strict and far reaching tax laws. Tax laws that often extend beyond the borders of the country. As a result, anyone with citizenship will likely need to file with the IRS.
A successful art dealer recently faced sentencing for allegations of tax evasion. The allegations are the result of a six-year investigation which led to evidence to support the following crimes:
The United States government requires the Reports of Foreign Financial and Bank Accounts (FBAR) forms for United States citizens with ownership or signatory authority over certain foreign assets. However, there are also certain situations when a non-citizen may need to file an FBAR. Three examples include:
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses many tools in its fight against tax fraud, including information available on social media platforms.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has increased its efforts to track down those who are attempting to avoid U.S. tax obligations through use of the blockchain. The agency is using the technology in two ways. First, the IRS is looking into those who use cryptocurrency to hide assets and second, the agency is looking to use the technology as a tool in the fight against tax evasion.