Category: Voluntary Disclosure Program

Switzerland: Italian Tax Authorities Request Information From Switzerland On UBS Bank Customers

In the past ten years, Switzerland has undertaken significant efforts to combat international tax fraud and tax evasion and to fight for the strict observance of foreign tax laws. In order to do so, a number of tax laws were enacted, allowing Switzerland to comply with international standards issued by the OECD (acting on behalf of the G20). In this respect, Switzerland ratified the Multilateral Convention on Administrative Assistance originally issued by the CoE and the OECD in 1988 and amended in 2011 ("OECD MC"), and it renegotiated numerous Double Taxation Conventions ("DTC"), amongst them also the DTC with Italy, in order to comply with the international standard introduced by the OECD MC in the version of July 2010. ... - Continue reading

New IRS offshore amnesty regime imposes bigger penalties for secret accounts

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued guidance on the voluntary disclosure regime now in force, following the termination of its offshore predecessor on 28 September 2018. The new rules are effective for all disclosures after that date. And the possible penalties have gone up quite significantly. One of… – Continue reading

Nigeria’s Tax Law obsolete, overdue for review —Oruaze Dickson

A legal practitioner cum entrepreneur, Moses Oruaze Dickson, has called for the review of the legislative framework for tax and taxation in the country, describing the existing law as obsolete for a progressive society like Nigeria. According to Dickson, who is also Managing Solicitor, Triax Solicitors, the law is long… – Continue reading

Voices The IRS is taking off its velvet gloves for offshore holdings

Ferreting out people who want to hide their assets and income overseas is nothing new for the Internal Revenue Service. And for roughly nine years, the agency has sponsored programs tailored to those taxpayers who were prepared to come forward and disclose their unreported foreign assets and income in exchange… – Continue reading

IRS To Close Door On OVDP For Offshore Tax Dodgers

US taxpayers who have failed to declare their offshore money will lose the chance to confess to the Internal Revenue Service later this year. The IRS has announced that the Overseas Voluntary Disclosure Program will close on September 28. In the 10 years the OVDP has run, 56,000 taxpayers have… – Continue reading

Nigerians React On Compulsory Tax Initiative

The Federal Government on June 29, 2017 formally launched the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), an initiative designed to encourage voluntary disclosure of previously undisclosed assets and income for the purpose of payment of all outstanding tax liabilities. As the window of opportunity for declaration draws near, OYENIRAN… – Continue reading

Irish Revenue’s Tax Enforcement Work Yields Results

Non-compliance “interventions” by the Irish Revenue yielded EUR492m (USD594m) last year, according to the latest figures published by the tax authority. Revenue has published its preliminary results for 2017. They show that Revenue completed 646,633 compliance interventions during the year. There were 24 criminal convictions for serious tax and duty… – Continue reading

CRA finalizes new Information Circular for income tax Voluntary Disclosures Program

On December 15, 2017, the CRA released the final version of Information Circular IC 00-1R6 – Voluntary Disclosures Program (“VDP”) for income tax, after receiving and considering community input on the June 2017 draft version. This article summarizes the important differences between the draft and the final ICs and discusses… – Continue reading

VAIDS: FG Amnesty On Tax Defaulter Ends March 2018 – Fowler

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler has said federal government tax defaulters have until March 2018 to declare assets and income via the Voluntary Assets and Income declaration Scheme (VAIDS) or face the consequence. Fowler speaking at the media workshop programme in Lagos, recently, said… – Continue reading

Israel Tax Authority reintroduces voluntary disclosure

Ahead of the CRS agreement, the procedure enables Israelis to disclose unreported income without facing criminal proceedings. As reported last month by “Globes,” ahead of the anticipated implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) agreement for automatic exchanges of information between tax authorities, and given the Israel Tax Authority’s stepped… – Continue reading

Hapoalim Canadian customers say bank aided tax evasion

114 taxpayers in Canada’s voluntary disclosure program say that the Israeli bank helped them evade taxes. As if the headache of the investigation by US authorities were not enough, Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI), managed by CEO Arik Pinto, discovered two days ago that Canada was also taking aim at it…. – Continue reading

New Dutch Law Leaves Repentant Taxpayers Out in the Cold

The abolition of a scheme allowing Dutch taxpayers to fess up to their tax sins and avoid criminal charges is likely to discourage high-net worth individuals from ever disclosing money hidden abroad to local authorities, practitioners say. Deputy Minister of Finance Eric Wiebes announced that it was time to draw… – Continue reading

United States: California Expands Voluntary Disclosure Program for Out‑of‑State Trusts

At a Glance… On September 25, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill No. 813, which updated the California Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) to include out-of-state trusts with California beneficiaries and non-resident partners of out-of-state partnerships, and to allow the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to waive the S Corporation or… – Continue reading

Voluntary offshore disclosures: Final SARS deadline fast approaches

JOHANNESBURG — Despite question marks hanging over SARS, its chief Tom Moyane and the institution’s current ability to effectively collect taxes, the authority continues to push ahead with expanding its international net. A 31 August deadline for taxpayers to disclose their offshore assets and income to SARS is fast approaching…. – Continue reading

Deadline for SARS voluntary disclosure soon

Taxpayers have been reminded of the looming deadline for the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) on 31 August 2017. SVDP is a window period for individuals and companies to regularise undisclosed or unauthorised foreign assets and associated income. It came into effect on 1 October 2016. Taxpayers are urged to… – Continue reading

IRS Criminal Investigation chief plans new enforcement programs

The International Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation unit is readying two new programs focusing on data investigations and international tax enforcement. The data initiative will tie together the information uncovered by the IRS’s field offices around the country with headquarters in Washington, D.C. “We are standing up a nationally coordinated data… – Continue reading

SA taxpayers with offshore cash, assets given deadline to disclose info

The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) allows for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities. Local taxpayers who may have stashed their assets in cash and property offshore have a month to disclose their earnings and ownership details to the South African Revenue Services (Sars). The deadline for the Special… – Continue reading

Tax on offshore investments: time to come clean

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) launched the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) in October 2016, providing taxpayers with the opportunity to make good on any tax and/or exchange control contraventions of which they may be guilty in relation to offshore investments. The nine-month window period opened on October 1,… – Continue reading

Bills, cars, bank accounts: the Italian Revenue Service will chase evaders who pretend to be abroad

The Italian Revenue Agency is stepping up its fight against international tax evasion. The tax authority will focus on undeclared funds and income held abroad by Italian taxpayers who have become resident abroad since January 1, 2010. Controls will be based on selected lists, which will first target the most… – Continue reading

Canada To Ramp Up Efforts Against Tax Evasion

The Canadian Government has said that it will review its tax ruling process and voluntary disclosures program as part of its response to recommendations made last year by a parliamentary committee. In October 2016, the Standing Committee on Finance released its report on the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA’s) efforts to… – Continue reading

IRS warns of ‘Dirty Dozen’ tax scams

MARTINSBURG — The Internal Revenue Service has started releasing this year’s top 12 scams targeting consumers known as “The Dirty Dozen.” The annually compiled list features a variety of scams the agency says are common and that taxpayers could encounter anytime, but especially during peak filing season. Phishing schemes lead… – Continue reading

Canada: Report On The Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) – Canadian Tax Consultant Analysis

The Offshore Compliance Advisory Committee issued a report in December 2016 to the Canada Revenue Agency about the Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP or tax amnesty). If a taxpayer submits a successful income tax or GST/HST voluntary disclosure program application then generally criminal income tax prosecution and civil tax penalties under… – Continue reading

SARS trust rules may put lid on asset disclosure

Tax experts believe significant sums of undeclared assets have been hoarded offshore by South African taxpayers but they might be reluctant to declare them under the special voluntary disclosure programme because of the way it deals with trusts. The Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws (Administration) Bill… – Continue reading

Automatic Exchange of Information and Common Reporting Standards in Malaysia

In efforts towards global transparency, over 100 countries have agreed to automatically exchange information relating to financial accounts (AEOI) with each other under the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (Convention). The OECD had also developed the Common Reporting Standards (CRS) which set out the common information to… – Continue reading

South African Tax Bills Approved By Parliament

South Africa’s Ministry of Finance has published the 2016 Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB), which has received parliamentary approval and gives effect to the tax changes announced in the Budget in February this year, together with legislation confirming the final details of the Special Voluntary Disclosure Program (SVDP). With changes… – Continue reading

CRA must toughen up voluntary disclosure for tax cheats, panel says

The Canada Revenue Agency needs to toughen up the program that offers advantageous deals to tax cheats, especially in cases where large amounts of income were not declared through deliberate schemes, a federally appointed committee says. In a report released Thursday, the Offshore Compliance Advisory Committee called for a series… – Continue reading

IRS Nets $10 Billion FATCA Tax Haul

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has netted more than $10 billion in secret offshore cash and investments. The controversial Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has encouraged more than 100,000 taxpayers to reveal their overseas holdings. But the IRS suggests this is just the start as FATCA cranks up… – Continue reading

IRS Offshore Voluntary Compliance Tops $10 Billion

As international compliance efforts pass several new milestones, the Internal Revenue Service reminds U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts that they should use existing paths to come into full compliance with their federal tax obligations. Updated data shows 55,800 taxpayers have come into the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) to… – Continue reading

Canadians in Panama Papers shouldn’t expect a tax deal, CRA says

More than 2,000 files under review, 85 taxpayers under audit National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier said in a statement Monday that a few thousand files are now being pursued by the tax agency after it sifted through the Panama Papers. Canadians implicated in the Panama Papers shouldn’t expect any leniency… – Continue reading

IRS Overlooks Noncompliance in Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

The Internal Revenue Service is missing out on imposing approximately $21.6 million in penalties on taxpayers who are denied entry or withdraw from its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, according to a new report The report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, found the IRS needs to improve its… – Continue reading

Panama Papers Expose Celebs, Politicians, Billionaires With Offshore Tax Havens Despite FATCA

The Panama Papers–the biggest leak of financial data in history–has blown the lid off offshore tax havens, again. This time, those in the limelight include twelve current or former world leaders, many celebrities, and wealthy persons who are using offshore tax havens to hide their wealth. In scope, this is… – Continue reading

IRS Uses New Tactic to Expand Efforts to Combat Offshore Tax Evasion

In a search for financial records of a U.S. taxpayer who allegedly parked undeclared income offshore, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) are seeking to enforce a summons against a U.S. branch of a foreign bank for records held by a foreign branch of… – Continue reading

Canada Revenue offered amnesty to wealthy KPMG clients in offshore tax ‘sham’

Federal authorities demanded secrecy in no-penalty, no-prosecution deal to high net worth Canadians The Canada Revenue Agency offered amnesty to multi-millionaire clients caught using what’s been called an offshore tax “sham” on the Isle of Man — a reprieve that was supposed to remain secret and out of the public… – Continue reading


For those taxpayers with undisclosed foreign assets, time is running out. With the introduction of FATCA and a global standard for the automatic exchange of information between countries’ tax authorities, it is unlikely that undisclosed foreign assets will remain as such for long, resulting in serious consequences for the taxpayer…. – Continue reading

IRS Releases Dirty Dozen Scam List: Don’t be a Victim

Each year, people fall prey to tax scams. That’s why the IRS sends a list of its annual “Dirty Dozen.” Stay safe and be informed – don’t become a victim. If you get involved in illegal tax scams, you can lose money or face stiff penalties, interest and even criminal… – Continue reading

Gordhan to target offshore funds

FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan is widely expected to announce a new foreign exchange control and tax amnesty in his budget on Wednesday in a bid to encourage taxpayers who have not disclosed billions of rand worth of offshore assets to declare them and pay the due tax. The move would… – Continue reading

Are You Keeping Secrets from Uncle Sam Overseas?

If you think Uncle Sam has too many other problems to worry about what assets you may be hiding overseas, think again. “Governments are catching up to the fact that there is now a global economy and are requiring increasing reporting to ensure they collect ‘their fair share’ of tax… – Continue reading

IRS lists hiding money, income offshore on ‘Dirty Dozen’ tax scams

ST. GEORGE — The Internal Revenue Service has announced that avoiding taxes by hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on its annual list of tax scams known as the “Dirty Dozen.” “Our continued enforcement actions should discourage anyone from trying to illegally hide money and income offshore,”… – Continue reading

Extent of tax fraud unknown – SARS

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) still does not know the full extent of tax evasion, despite its work probing foreign bank accounts held by South African residents. It has been a year since SARS confirmed some account holders had been using their offshore accounts to evade their tax obligations,… – Continue reading

Canada: Voluntary Disclosure CRA Latest Statistics – Toronto Tax Lawyer Commentary

Voluntary Disclosure & CRA Annual Report to Parliament – General Information CRA has provided the latest statistics about the tax amnesty or voluntary disclosure program (VDP) for the previous fiscal year. CRA provides an annual report to parliament that provides a wealth of information about its activities over the past… – Continue reading

Another chance for taxdodgers to come clean

The announcement of another tax and exchange control amnesty in this year’s budget is keenly awaited by some South African taxpayers. The looming implementation of the Common Reporting Standard for the automatic exchange of financial information between more than a hundred countries seems to be fueling the desire for another… – Continue reading

IRS 80- Swiss Banks 0

The formal IRS/Department of Justice (DOJ) Swiss Bank Program has concluded with 80 Swiss banks coming forward. The banks agreed to provide information about personnel, depositors and advisors who were participated in or assisted U.S. taxpayers in offshore tax evasion. In addition to disclosure and cooperation with investigations each of… – Continue reading

Secret accounts overseas urged to be reported

Those who have been hiding their income or wealth overseas had better think again, as Korea will soon be exchanging financial information with multiple countries, including tax havens. They are advised to voluntarily report it to the government before the end of March to be given a grace period, said… – Continue reading

IRS Adds More Foreign Banks To Disclosure Blacklist

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has added more banks to the swelling list of financial institutions involved in tax avoidance. Customers of these banks owning up to past financial indiscretions under the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) face penalties based on balances over the past eight years. Penalties for… – Continue reading

US Justice Department Announces Resolution Under Swiss Bank Program With Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA

The Department of Justice announced today that Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA (UBP), reached a resolution under the department’s Swiss Bank Program. UBP will pay a penalty of more than $187 million. “Today’s agreement marks the final resolution with UBP, which acknowledges its role in conspiring with U.S. taxpayers to… – Continue reading

United States: Global Tax Enforcement in 2016: What You Need To Know

The investigation and prosecution of tax evasion has, in the last decade, grown from a specialized subcategory of law enforcement into a first-tier policy concern for the global community. Starting with the U.S. government’s crackdown on Swiss bank UBS in 2008, there has been a steady drumbeat of news about… – Continue reading