According to a report from a collective of journalists, HSBC helped taxpayers evade taxes. Furthermore, these taxpayers are alleged to be criminals including international businessmen, warlords, traffickers of blood diamonds, and politicians. In addition to aiding these taxpayers setup accounts, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has issued a report stating that HSBC employees went one step further and assured taxpayers they would not disclose their information to authorities.
The big picture in this story is that the U.S. is only a small piece of the puzzle. There are many interested countries, both in terms of breaking the story and taking enforcement action. No longer is the U.S. the only country making a real effort to crack down on tax evaders and the people who help them. As FATCA gains strength, and other countries take an interest in fighting tax evasion, it is more imperative than ever that taxpayers review their international tax reporting to make sure they are in compliance.
There are a variety of programs under the heading of the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program for taxpayers to gain compliance. Taxpayers should be sure to have a tax professional review their facts carefully to discuss the options and processes for using these programs. If you have questions about your international tax reporting contact us at Hone Maxwell LLP today for a complete analysis of your case.