Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Off-shore accountholders fear IRS tax penalties

Lawyers who handle tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service have been inundated with calls from people who have off-shore accounts and are concerned their foreign banks will hand over information about their accounts to the IRS.

The Daily Record, a legal trade newspaper in California, reports that “Stoking the panic are two deals that UBS has reached with the U.S. government this year — the first in February — to hand over the account information of U.S. customers suspected of offshore tax evasion.”

The Record interviewed several lawyers who said the number of clients they are representing in voluntary tax disclosures as increased tremendously. One lawyer in California said he normally handles one or two voluntary tax disclosures cases a year; right now he has cases involving 140 clients on the West Coast alone.