Internal revenue service opens last chance saloon.

Fonction News

U.S. tax authorities recently announced a new scheme, which they hope will encourage die-hard American tax-evaders to finally declare their offshore wealth and assets. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made no secret of its priority to target international tax evasion, making significant resources available for investigating and prosecuting offenders. Despite increased pressure both on individuals and the offshore financial institutions holding their wealth, many people continue to hide funds overseas.

With its new Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI), the Internal Revenue Service hopes to lure these offenders back into the U.S. tax system by giving them the opportunity to declare their assets without the risk of criminal prosecution. Many Swiss banks have already turned their backs on the U.S. offshore market, but the new move could see a further exodus of U.S. customers for the ones remaining.

The scheme, which will be available until August 31, 2011, was unveiled by IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, who said, "As we continue to amass more information and pursue more people internationally, the risk to individuals hiding assets offshore is increasing. This new effort gives those hiding money in foreign accounts a tough, fair way to resolve their tax problems once and for all. And it gives people a chance to come in before we find them."

Although similar to the 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), the 2011...

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