A new banking law known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance act, or FACTA, is set to bring closer scrutiny on people in Massachusetts and elsewhere around the country who have significant assets with financial institutions outside the U.S. The law could serve to ensnare more people with tax evasion charges.
A man who is charged with 22 counts of tax evasion over a period of six years is the president and treasurer of a landscaping company in Amesbury, Massachusetts. He has held his position with the company since 1997. The state attorney general has accused the man of failing to pay over $445,000 in employer contributions that the business was legally bound to pay. This amount includes interest and amounts due to the unemployment trust fund. The nonpayment of taxes allegedly occurred between October 2006 and January of this year. The workers were being paid, and the business was operating at the time, signifying the business owner's legal responsibility to pay employer contributions to the government. Workers who were no longer employed by the company collected more than $595,000 in unemployment wages in spite of the company's failure to pay in the required $445,000 in contributions.
A man from Dartmouth, Massachusetts, was recently sentenced after his tax evasion conviction. He received a sentence for two years and a $50,000 fine and over $300,000 in restitution, payable to the Internal Revenue Service. According to court documents, the man and his girlfriend defrauded the country by avoiding tax assessments and the collection of income taxes for three years. He did not file any tax returns or pay the taxes that he owed for these years. He had acquired a number of real estate units and received rental income for most of these properties, some of which were commercial properties. He also received capital gains on some investments. For the three years that he did not pay income taxes, he made between $264,000 and $485,000.
State and federal revenue criminal departments have different sets of criminal codes that are completely separate from one another: separate criminal charges, separate courts and separate punishments for breaking Massachusetts versus federal criminal statutes.
For those Bostonians who need to file extensions, schedule payments, pay off liens or appeal a tax decision, take heart. You are not alone. It seems every week there is a new celebrity charged with tax evasion, the failure to file tax returns and/or face multiple audits.
The restrictions on investment products available to Americans make it difficult to invest in markets outside of the U.S. So much so, that it's causing some Americans to renounce their citizenship. Nearly 2,000 gave up their U.S. passports in 2011, compared with only 235 just three years ago.
A man who ran a Malden chiropractic clinic was charged in federal court on multiple counts of impeding the Internal Revenue Service and tax evasion. The investigation into the clinic was organized and announced by the U.S. attorney's economic crimes unit and the Boston IRS criminal investigation field division.
Three people, including a Norwood man, were sentenced in Worcester federal district court for conspiracies to defraud the U.S. using several tax fraud schemes. Released wearing electronic monitoring devices, they are awaiting sentencing in June. All three were found guilty of participating in an "under the table" payroll scam and the use of "underground warehouse banking." Both charges are defined by conspiracy and fraud and were used to hide income and assets from the Internal Revenue Service. The Norwood man was also convicted of tax evasion.
The Internal Revenue Service is not alone in its effort to crack down on offshore tax evasion by American taxpayers. Last week, the federal government announced that it has enlisted the help of five European nations to enforce the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.