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September 11, 2012


A question we often get from expats living aboard is, "How can the IRS ever find out about my foreign assets or income?"  We always tell them that it is entirely possible the IRS will find out and we recommend they disclose all income and assets as required by US tax law.  Both US and foreign third parties can make a lot of money by turning in US taxpayers that are hiding their foreign assets and income from the IRS..

A UBS banker in Switzerland will receive $104 million as finders fee from the IRS in return for giving it names of US taxpayers that had secret accounts in Switzerland.  He is the banker that helped his US clients hide the money in Switzerland. .  In the course of his disclosures to the IRS he misrepresented some information and  had to spend a few years in prison for that crime.  He will still (despite his time in prison) collect his fee from the IRS which is a percentage of the taxes the IRS will collect from the US taxpayers he gave up to the IRS. READ MORE HERE

The IRS expects a lot more Whistleblowers to come forward and reveal the information they know about US taxpayers not complying with the law.  This is good reason to only discuss  your potential tax problems with a reputable US Attorney where all communication is protected from disclosure by "Attorney-client privilege." The law forbids an attorney from revealing any client information to the IRS unless that specific information goes into preparing a tax return for that client.  Do not discuss any problematic tax  information   to anyone but an attorney. Under most state laws, information given to Enrolled Agents and CPAs is not protected and those professionals can be forced to disclose client's disclosures by the IRS and the Courts.

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