Thursday, August 4, 2011

California offers amnesty for investors in abusive tax shelters

California has launched a tax amnesty program for people who used abusive tax shelters or offshore financial arrangements to evade or avoid state taxes.

The California Franchise Tax Board announced the initiative, called “Voluntary Compliance Initiative 2,” earlier this week. Participants in the program can avoid most penalties and criminal prosecution, the tax board says. The filing period for the amnesty program ends Oct. 31.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the tax board has contacted 47,000 taxpayers who might be eligible.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Former UBS banker indicted in tax evasion conspiracy case

A former UBS banker was indicted today on a charge that he helped U.S. clients evade taxes through accounts at UBS and a regional Swiss bank.

The indictment says the banker, Martin Lack, discouraged at least nine U.S. customer from joining an Internal Revenue Service amnesty program offered to those who were hiding assets overseas. He also offered to provide his customers with falsified bank documents to conceal the source of the funds in their undeclared bank accounts, according to the indictment.

Lack, a Swiss resident, is accused of conspiring with another UBS banker to encourage U.S. clients to move their undeclared UBS accounts to the smaller regional bank, which news reports identify as Basler Kantonalbank. The other UBS banker, Renzo Gadola, pleaded guilty last year to similar charges in federal court in Miami.