IRS Sting Operation and Criminal Tax Indictments of Canadian Citizens – Investigations Overseas – Enabling U.S. Taxpayers with Offshore Accounts

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The U.S. Department of Justice reported that two Canadian citizens along with a U.S. citizen were indicted for enabling tax evasion with offshore accounts.  The press release from three months ago, 24 March 2014, can be reviewed here.  Some highlights of the press release are below:

  •  According to the indictment, . . .  Poulin, an attorney at a law firm based in Turks and Caicos, worked and resided in Canada and in the Turks and Caicos.  His clientele also included numerous U.S. citizens.
  • According to the indictment, Vandyk, St-Cyr and Poulin solicited U.S. citizens to use their services to hide assets from the U.S. government.  Vandyk and St-Cyr directed the undercover agents posing as U.S. clients to create offshore foundations with the assistance of Poulin and others because they and the investment firm did not want to appear to deal with U.S. clients.  Vandyk and St-Cyr used the offshore entities to move money into the Cayman Islands and used foreign attorneys as intermediaries for such transactions.
  • According to the indictment, Poulin established an offshore foundation for the undercover agents posing as U.S. clients and served as a nominal board member in lieu of the clients.

The facts of this case will be interesting to cover, to see how and to what extent the IRS and Justice Department will be focusing on U.S. citizens residing overseas and their reporting (or failure to report) their “foreign” accounts; i.e., their financial accounts in their home countries of residence.

Since the withholding tax provisions under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) come into effect in a matter of days, it will be interesting to see if the government has more indictments along these lines planned for the summer of 2014.

U.S. citizens who are in the process of renouncing citizenship should be aware of each of the steps required as part of the process; both under U.S. federal tax law and immigration law.

See, The Importance of a Certificate of Loss of Nationality (“CLN”) and FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

Also, see Revisiting the consequences of becoming a “covered expatriate” for failing to comply with Section 877(a)(2)(C).


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