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Fort Lauderdale Tax Law Blog

Florida Man Hit with Record Tax Penalty on Swiss Bank Account

751px-American_Cash.JPGA jury in Miami recently found that a Coral Gables man could owe civil penalties of $2.24 million for a secret Swiss bank account he held, Bloomberg reported. This sum is noteworthy due to its large size. What makes it especially significant is that the account in question only held $1.5 million in it. The taxpayer's lawyers described the 150% penalty as record-setting in terms of percentage.

Recent Treasury Notice Regarding 'Transition Period' Not a Delay of FATCA Implementation

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently announced that the current and next calendar years will be a "transition period" for complying with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act's requirements. The creation of this transition period should not be seen as a postponement of FATCA's obligations, but rather as a time when affected entities can seek to implement policies that bring them into full compliance. Thinking that the new announcement has delayed the requirements imposed by the FATCA is erroneous and dangerous.

US, Australia Strike FATCA Agreement

australian-flag-graphic.pngThe U.S. Department of the Treasury has added the name of yet another nation -- Australia -- to its growing list of countries with which the US has reached an accord regarding the reporting of offshore accounts to the Internal Revenue Service, according to InverstorDaily.com. The newly completed intergovernmental agreement (IGA) makes Australia one of nearly four dozen countries that promised in writing to report assets to American tax authorities as the US attempts to eradicate the use of foreign accounts to evade tax liability domestically.

Federal Court Rejects Bankers' Challenge to New Disclosure Requirements Triggered by FATCA

1099 int.jpgThe passage of the Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act (FATCA) created a broad new system for foreign institutions to report to the IRS about their American accountholders. In order to secure the cooperation of those foreign financial institutions, however, the US also had to agree to make its institutions provide expanded disclosures to foreign tax authorities, as well. To this end, the Treasury Department passed new regulations mandating the reporting of interest earned by foreign accountholders to their countries' governments. Two US banking organizations sought to defeat these expanded new disclosure requirements by suing, but a federal district court recently rejected their claims.

James Gandolfini's Passing Makes Plenty for the IRS

James Gandolfini was a beloved actor in Hollywood, most notably for his lead role as Tony Soprano in the popular gangster series, "The Sopranos," on HBO. The event of his sudden death over this past summer from a heart attack, affords us the opportunity to glean lessons from his estate planning, or as many suggest, lack thereof.

If You Have Foreign Accounts In The State Of Israel, It Is Time To Get IRS Compliant

If you are a U.S. taxpayer, the Internal Revenue Service makes it their business to know all about you. Until now, however, there was still a lot of information to which they had little access. For instance, if you had monies in offshore accounts, you may have left no apparent trace. As in most arenas, technology has changed everything. The near instant transfer of information online has enabled a true global economy. Now, the U.S. Government need not sniff you out. They have decided to hold the Foreign Financial Institutions, who manage your monies, financially responsible if they don't report you to the IRS. Shifting the financial burden, with the click of a mouse, has changed everything.

Identity Theft

Have you been the victim of an identity theft crime? You are not alone. Identity theft has become the number one national consumer complaint, and Florida has the highest rate of identity theft in the United States. The Department of Justice has acknowledged identity theft as the number one for profit crime. Our tax attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable in dealing with identity theft victims and their recovery. There are important deadlines that the victims of identity theft must meet in order to avoid responsibility of the debt or penalties.

South Florida Taxpayers Beware of Dangerous Phone Calls Alleging to be the IRS!

Beware if you receive a phone call from the Internal Revenue Service asking for a payment for unpaid taxes! The IRS usually does not contact people by phone to obtain payment for past due taxes. In fact, the IRS has now officially issued a warning to people not to respond should they receive a call from someone representing themselves as the IRS.

Fort Lauderdale Tax Attorney, Christin Bucci, speaks on Identity Theft at 2013 ABA Midyear Meeting

Have you been the victim of identity theft? It's not just you. Just ninety miles away from a national epicenter of identity theft, Tampa, Florida, our ABA renowned Florida tax attorney, Christin Bucci, was invited to speak on the tax refund identity theft epidemic which is sweeping the nation. Ms. Bucci was chosen as a panelist and joined several other panelists including the National Identity Theft Coordinator from IRS' Criminal Investigation Division, Michael J. DePalma, and the Department of Justice Tax Division Representative, Larry John Wszalek, to discuss this issue.

IRS Takes Down Florida Doctor Who Hid $35 million in Foreign Bank Accounts

Thursday, October 24, 2013 was a sad day for the international medical community, as one of their own, psychiatrist, Dr. Patricia Lynn Hough, was convicted by a jury in Ft. Myers, Florida of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by hiding upwards of $35 million dollars in offshore accounts at UBS and other foreign banks. She and her husband are doctors who owned two medical schools in the Caribbean, which sold for $35 million dollars in April 2007. Shortly thereafter, the money from the sales disappeared and was traced by the IRS to offshore accounts.

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