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William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Posts Tagged ‘Switzerland’

Swiss Banks Lost $383 Billion So Far Due To Tax Evasion Investigations

Posted by William Byrnes on September 1, 2014

International Financial Law Prof Blog.

Posted in FATCA, Money Laundering | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

William Byrnes presents for Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland (LATCAM) and San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA)

Posted by William Byrnes on July 23, 2013

Link to the story at the faculty page of Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Following on his lunch time CLE presentation for the San Diego County Bar Association with Procopio tax partner Patrick Martin, Associate Dean William Byrnes was invited in April to Zurich, Switzerland to deliver a week-long series of workshops on the implications of FATCA for large financial institutions on the LATAM market.  The series of lectures and workshops began with a breakfast conference of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland, and continued through the week with banking workshops for HSBC, UBS, Credit Suisse, Julius Baer, Hinduja Bank, among others.

Professor William Byrnes’ workshop series was sponsored by Amicorp, a global company service provider, via an invitation by Thomas Jefferson international tax alumni and Swiss office managing director, Geralda Buckley.

William Byrnes stated, “I was intrigued to engage with the banks’ FATCA compliance teams in an open discussion format. The rush of back and forth Q&A and thinking on my feet felt like sixteen years ago when I was a Senior Manager with Coopers & Lybrand leading in-house workshops.  Very complex issues but I’ve since been invited for other workshops so must have been well received.”

He continued, “But the best part of this lecture series was that I shared the floor with an international tax program alumni, and former federal IRS prosecutor, Robert Payne.  It’s wonderful to see the positive impact that the international tax program has played in an alumni’s career.”

“After the workshops, I fielded questions from participants about Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s distance learning pedagogical leadership via video conference specific to a bank’s tax department.”  William Byrnes said “I will continue to introduce Thomas Jefferson to a wider financial community via my alumni outreach, publications and subscribers, and invited lectures with the hope that embedded externships for the current JD and Master students may be established over the coming years.”

Conference information is available at:

San Diego County Bar https://www.sdcba.org/index.cfm?pg=events&evAction=showDetail&eid=11009&evSubAction=listAll

LATCAM http://www.puntolatino.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6240%3A160413-seminar-the-foreign-tay-compliance-act-fatca&catid=345%3Acamara-latinoamericana-de-comercio-en-suiza&Itemid=487&lang=de

Posted in Courses, FATCA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

IRS Kicks Off New Offshore Amnesty Program

Posted by William Byrnes on April 6, 2011

Taxpayers with assets hidden in offshore accounts will get a second chance to voluntarily declare their assets to the IRS in return for reduced penalties under the new Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (“OVDI”).

This newest offshore amnesty program offers a reduced, 25% penalty which will be calculated based on the highest aggregate amount in the taxpayer’s offshore account between 2003 and 2010.   In addition to penalties, program participants will be required to pay eight years of back taxes plus interest, accuracy related penalties, and delinquency penalties.  Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of offshore issues in Advisor’s Journal, see IRS Planning New Voluntary Disclosure Program for Offshore Assets (CC 10-118)Offshore’s Limited Shelf Life (CC 10-47)IRS Proposed FATCA Guidance Expands Offshore Compliance Initiatives (CC 10-52)


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Offshore Swiss Bank Indictments Follow Voluntary Disclosure Program

Posted by William Byrnes on April 1, 2011

Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers? This topic discusses the potential consequences of not playing by the rules; it is important to constantly keep in mind the balance between providing the most efficient and effective services to clients and crossing the line into illegal territory. Clients may not realize the harsh penalties associated with offshore activity, and although when performed by expert planners under the proper circumstances, that some offshore transactions may be legal and beneficial, it is the job of informed wealth managers to keep clients abreast of information that is useful in making long-term financial decisions.

Four bankers at an international bank incorporated and with its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, with offices worldwide, including New York City and Miami, were indicted by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia and charged with conspiring with other Swiss bankers to defraud the United States, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Wednesday.

According to the indictment, the international bank’s managers and bankers engaged in illegal cross-border banking that was designed to assist U.S. customers evade their income taxes by opening and maintaining secret bank accounts at the bank and other Swiss banks. As of the fall of 2008, the international bank maintained thousands of secret accounts for customers in the United States with as much as $3 billion in total assets under management in those accounts.

The Justice Department announced the scheme dates back to 1953 and involved two generations of U.S. tax evaders including U.S. customers who inherited secret accounts at the international bank.

The indictment asserts that four foreign individuals, members of senior management, bankers and others assisted U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. taxes through the use of secret bank accounts in Switzerland.

According to the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators solicited U.S. customers to open secret accounts because Swiss bank secrecy would permit them to conceal from the IRS their ownership of accounts at the bank and other Swiss banks. It is further alleged that they provided unlicensed and unregistered banking services and investment advice to customers in the United States in person while on travel to here, including at the international bank’s representative office in New York City and by mailings, e-mail and telephone calls to and from the United States.

Read the analysis at AdvisorFYI


Posted in Compliance, Money Laundering | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Wikileaks To Release Details of Secret Swiss Accounts

Posted by William Byrnes on March 1, 2011

Wikileaks is set to release confidential Swiss banking documents, and although the scope of information included in the documents isn’t yet clear, the release could pave the way for a new IRS surge against tax evaders.  Similar disclosures by bank insiders were at the heart of the Justice Department’s UBS investigation.   This most recent leak came from a former senior private banker and chief operating officer of Julius Baer’s Caribbean operation.   He’s currently on trial in Switzerland for allegedly leaking client documents in 2005.

… the statute of limitations for criminal tax offenses is generally three years, but there are a number of exceptions that extend the statute to six years, including “willfully attempting to evade or defeat any tax.” Leaked documents from prior to 2002 would reveal activities that would generally fall outside the six-year statute of limitations; however, the six year statute only begins to run on the day the last affirmative act is committed by the defendant, so criminal prosecution of accountholders revealed by the leak may still be viable.  Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of the IRS’s offshore enforcement efforts in Advisor’s Journal, see Offshore’s Limited Shelf Life (CC 10-47)IRS Proposed FATCA Guidance Expands Offshore Compliance Initiatives (CC 10-52), and IRS Planning New Voluntary Disclosure Program for Offshore Assets (CC 10-118).

Posted in Money Laundering | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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