Foreign bank accounts could draw the interest of the IRS

Tax season is upon us, with the annual filing deadline steady approaching. For those with greater assets, the risks of over payment of taxes, as well as the risk of an audit, are ever-present concerns. You probably have someone who handles your finances and investments, as well as someone who specializes in taxes on your payroll.

If your investing includes international or offshore accounts, particularly in countries that the IRS believes are at high risk for tax evasion or money laundering, you could be at increased risk of an audit.

Not just any attorney can adequately argue cases involving international tax laws and banking. You need attorneys with the right expertise and knowledge base. The more diverse and exotic the location and nature of your accounts and investments, the more knowledgeable your legal representation needs to be. When it comes to facing the IRS for an audit when you have international accounts, you need to know that your legal representation understands the law as it is written and currently enforced.

International accounts complicate tax audits

Individuals who file taxes must answer a question about whether or not they hold international bank accounts. Sometimes, mistakes happen and people forget about accounts. Other times, individuals intentionally withhold information about international assets to avoid paying taxes on them.

In order to prevent this kind of tax evasion, the IRS requires that all banks used by U.S. citizens submit documents to the IRS for tax purposes. A lot of banks don't comply. If your bank has been associated with poor record keeping and compliance with United States tax laws, that is a serious concern during an audit.

An attorney with experience in international banking and IRS audits can review your financial information, documents sent by the IRS regarding your audit and anything else that may impact the audit. From there, your attorney can help determine the best course of action. Each tax scenario and audit is as unique as the individual whose finances are being reviewed. There are few clear and simple answers to tax audits when undisclosed international accounts are involved.

An attorney can help offset your audit risk

When you're facing an audit, the result can be massive financial losses if you're found to be in violation of tax law. Working with an experienced tax attorney is one of the best ways to limit the risk of a truly negative financial outcome to your audit. Don't try to face the IRS alone, particularly if there are issues with your international accounts or investments.

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