IRS Scares 14,700 Americans Into Disclosing Secret Offshore Bank Accounts

The IRS announced today that 14,700 Americans disclosed their secret off-shore accounts — ensuring “billions of dollars in new tax collections” says Bloomberg.

Shulman reported the voluntary disclosures under a leniency program as the U.S. and Swiss governments announced the criteria used in an agreement for UBS AG to hand over data on 4,450 accounts. The IRS and U.S. prosecutors are scouring the new data to help pursue banks and advisers that foster tax evasion, Shulman said.

“We have now gained access to thousands of taxpayers and bank accounts that we have never had before,” Shulman told reporters in a conference call in Washington. “It has sent a shock wave around the world. It has showed we are serious about piercing the veil of bank secrecy.”

Watch out, tax evaders. The whole global economy thing isn’t working out for you.

IRS Gets Secret Account Data From 14,700 Americans [Bloomberg]
(Photo:afagen)

PREVIOUSLY: UBS Rats Out Thousands Of Potential Tax Evaders To The IRS

Comments

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  1. SWBLOOPERS says:

    Thank goodness for the Caymans…

  2. self-check says:

    Hiding money in mason jars won’t protect its value, as the Federal
    Reserve can just print up more and devalue yours. Best to buy things
    whose value can’t be manipulated as much, like precious metals. But I
    guess you’d then be a (hidden) tax evader as well. Why can’t you just
    hand over what is rightfully the government’s property?

  3. Coles_Law says:

    4,450 accounts turned over to IRS.

    14,700 people disclosed accounts.

    Thus, 10,250 people are kicking themselves right now.

  4. self-check says:

    @Loias:
    Sorry, I thought my sarcasm would be evident. In reality, some people
    are taking measures to hide their valuables from thieves, while others
    who regularly get robbed are angry at those successfully hiding their
    valuables. The solution is stopping the robbers, not ensuring that
    everyone gets robbed.

    • trujunglist says:

      @self-check:

      yeah! stop the robbing! no one gains anything from taxes except the government, which uses all of it to buy hookers and blow for the so-called “president” (he wasn’t legally elected because of some sort of birth certificate mishap that I’m a little fuzzy on but someone said it was true so it surely is)!

  5. Colonel Jack O'Neill says:

    I got 95% of my money in the Caymans, so right now it should be safe.

  6. voogru says:

    My money is in Bank Of UnderneathTheMattress.

    No fees whatsoever.

  7. mac-phisto says:

    good. i hope they throw the book at whoever had the balls to hold out. & frankly, i hope they start pressuring a few other international banks the same way they roped UBS into disclosing this data.

    the biggest thing that pisses me off about tax evaders isn’t their evasion – it’s the fact that they’re sucking money out of our economy altogether. either re-invest it or pay the taxes so that uncle sam can invest it for you. that should be your options. we don’t need more scrooge mcducks swimming in money vaults in this country – we need affluent people investing in businesses that provide work for the rest of us poor saps. & if you don’t want uncle sam taxing your millions, than stop parking it in a goddamn bank. go start a company or buy some shit already.

  8. jdmba says:

    Couldn’t be happier about this. Revenue which is NOT coming off the back of those working for a living is fine with me.

  9. MickeyMoo says:

    Here’s a question I’ve always wondered about:

    Why does a hedgefund manager only pay a 15% capital gains tax on a few billion of “income” but some middleclass schlub pay 43% tax on lottery winnings? They are both a form of legally sanctioned gambling. Discuss.

  10. halcyondays says:

    We really need to abolish the IRS and go with a VAT or some similar tax.

  11. Blueskylaw says:

    The IRS (income reducing service) is going after tens of thousands of people for not paying tens or hundreds of millions of Dollars, but they couldn’t find the one guy who scammed people out of tens of billions of Dollars.

  12. Cameraman says:

    The Beast is hungry, having just spent trillions of dollars on stupid, ill-conceived bullspit. Elections have consenquences. Don’t vote for *any* incumbent next time around no matter what letter they have after their names, and send a letter to your representative explaining exactly why.

  13. morlo says:

    @diasdiem: Won’t help much since they’re “piercing the veil”

  14. dorianh49 says:

    @diasdiem: Oh, good. I hate when the meathooks are unlubricated.

  15. Cant_stop_the_rock says:

    @henrygates:
    [citation needed]

  16. jayphat says:

    @henrygates: From my understand, doesn’t it cost almost a third of a billion dollars just to run the IRS?

  17. Citizen Kang says:

    @henrygates:

    I foresee an army of accountants, tax attorneys, preparers, IRS employees, as well as a decent chunk of the Department of the Treasury being very upset with you for their new-found unemployment.

  18. SatisfriedCrustomer says:

    @henrygates:
    “Even a flat income tax”
    You realize that ‘income’ is the difficult part of this to compute, not ‘tax’. Figuring your tax accounts for 1 line on your 1040, whereas figuring out your “income” accounts for 45 lines plus a dozen schedules and worksheets.

  19. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    @henrygates: i like the ron paul idea of doing away with the IRS and income ta altogether, and only charging tax on purchases – something along the lines of 40% would go to city/county/state/federal government agencies

  20. wrjohnston91283 says:

    @henrygates: Tax everyone the same percentage. The wealthy pay so much less % of their income than the middle class. Yeah, I know they pay more dollar-wise, but if you make a billion dollars, you should pay more taxes than a $30k secretary.

    I’m assuming you are referring to Warren Buffet’s comment about how his secretary pays the same as he does – that’s in reference to the effective tax rate. Many high income earners make money from dividends and long term stock gains which are taxed at a lower percentage.

  21. bohemian says:

    @henrygates: Sigh. Sounds great at first. Doesn’t work that great in practice.

  22. edesignway says:

    @jayphat: On a quick Google search, 11.6 Billion was their 2008 Budget Request, up over 11% from 2007.

    [www.gao.gov]

  23. starrion says:

    @jayphat:
    No, because they’ll just spend more. That’s why it’s better to force them to spend less, but that’s unpopular.

  24. AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

    Low, mid and high income earners all complain about paying more taxes than each other . . . can’t we all just agree that we’re all getting hosed?

    Bottom line is that our gov’t is spending trillions to help us, then taxing the shit out of us to fund it. >:( I’m OK with taxes, I get the rationale, but what pisses me off is the UNBELIEVABLE waste and fraud that’s pushing our taxes ever closer to the 50% mark.

  25. AnthonyC says:

    @AK47: You do realize taxes in the US are the lowest they’ve been in many decades, right?

    Yes, there’s waste and fraud. But taxes have been going down, not up; that’s why the government has been running deficits and borrowing to cover its spending for the past ten years or so.

  26. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @bohemian: Oh, believe me, we stay pissed off.

    I’m all for going after the high-income evaders, but it’s not going to do much for the general deficit/debt situation, which just keeps getting worse. Nobody’s hands are clean there.

  27. mac-phisto says:

    @Ronin-Democrat: if you understood the importance of the decision by the swiss government to allow UBS (& soon other institutions) to release this information, or the carrot we used to get them to agree to do so, you wouldn’t sound so confident.

    but, to answer your question, if you’re one of the people on this list, it doesn’t really matter if you move the money. failure to declare is enough to land you in prison & give the IRS the ability to start seizing assets. unless 100% of your funds are abroad & you’re in a country that doesn’t extradite, this could end up being a pretty big thorn in your patushki.

  28. sonneillon says:

    @StanTheManDean: I know some people who may use offshore accounts. Although the richest people I know keep the bulk of their money in inflation adjusted muni bonds, they are tax exempt and insured.

  29. thisistobehelpful says:

    @henrygates: And if someone pays 12% on a $20k salary as opposed to a $100k salary who all of a sudden can’t afford electricity? A flat tax is one of the worst ideas ever. Most sane nations have a progressive tax table as we do. Most sane nations don’t allow corporations and the wealthy so many loopholes. If everyone paid 30% income tax the wealthy still have money for stuff like food and rent. With the majority of the population making less than $50k a year do you really want to start starving them more?

    Tax the wealthy, they can afford it and rely on us for their income. They SHOULD be supporting us if they expect our business to fund their insane salaries. Unless you’re going to make a 1% flat tax it’s completely ridiculous to expect people in poverty to pay that much.

  30. Aquasol says:

    @thisistobehelpful: This. D:

    The only way a flat tax would be fair is if the costs of everything were altered based upon class.

    And there’d be no cheating on that there, nope, never.

  31. mac-phisto says:

    @econobiker: they’re definitely worse than the illegals. why? b/c those 100,000 illegals spend as much here as they send home. & many of them do pay taxes despite their status. [www.nytimes.com]

    & as for part 2, i’d say they’re still worse. companies move production abroad b/c there are significant advantages to doing so that are entirely legal. sending your money abroad so you can avoid taxation is not. whether those production advantages should be legal is another discussion, but as long as our government rewards companies that expatriate various segments of their business, can you really fault them for taking advantage?

  32. SteveinOhio says:

    @halcyondays: They’ll get their money one way or the other. I don’t mind income as the source for taxation, but we could probably do with nuking the tax code and starting over. There’s no reason the average person shouldn’t be able to do their taxes by hand in 5 minutes on a single piece of paper.

    1) How much did you make?
    2) Apply these percentages.
    3) Pay this amount, less what you’ve already paid. If you’ve paid too much, your check will be there soon.