In recent years, the U.S. government has been cracking down on individuals who hide money in overseas bank accounts in effort to evade taxes. The Justice Department has mainly focused its efforts on foreign bank accounts in Switzerland but it beginning to expand to other countries such as Israel as well, the Wall Street Journal recently reported.
The Justice Department has not only been targeting individuals that have attempted to evade paying taxes themselves, but also top bank officials who allow it to happen. However, the government has learned that it’s not always easy to do that.
This week, a former top official at UBS AG was found not guilty of helping American banking clients defraud the Internal Revenue Service out of billions of dollars in taxes. It was fairly evident that the conspiracy was taking place at the bank, but the prosecution had little evidence to implicate the former UBS official beyond a reasonable doubt.
Last week, another former bank official from Israel’s Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd was acquitted orchestrating a tax evasion conspiracy after defense lawyers once again poked holes in the prosecution’s case.
The Justice Department has had more success securing guilty pleas from bankers at mid- and low-level positions bankers in tax evasion cases as well as the taxpayers who are accused of not paying the taxes they owe.
No matter who you are, facing the tax evasion charges is a scary ordeal to be involved in. The IRS has agents that act much like police detectives who investigate the crime that was allegedly committed by the taxpayer, which could involve submitting false tax returns, failing to file taxes, underreporting income or assisting others in evading taxes.
As the cases mentioned above involving high-ranking bank officials demonstrate, effective lawyering can make all of the difference in tax evasion cases. It’s important that all people who are accused of tax crimes by the IRS have competent attorneys representing their interests and protecting their rights.