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Ear to the Ground

IRS Unit Aims at Deep Pockets

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Posted on Dec 12, 2009
Flickr / Kalavinka

The Internal Revenue Service is establishing offices in Beijing, Panama City and Sydney to monitor funds moving internationally. Pictured above is the IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

An Internal Revenue Service unit is being developed to catch wealthy tax cheats who find ways to hide their assets in different businesses and accounts. The new unit reportedly has hired hundreds of employees to combat international tax evasion.  —JCL

Reuters:

The IRS high wealth unit, part of a broader effort to combat international tax evasion, is focusing on “the entire web of business entities controlled by a high wealth individual,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told a tax conference this week.

Another IRS official told Reuters “hundreds” of people have already been hired to staff the new unit, including some from within the agency.

“We have drawn top talent within the IRS that have expertise involving wealthy individuals as well as examination of their related entities,” said Mae Lew, an IRS special counsel.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 13, 2009 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

Ardee:

What you discovered was the change in strategy under the Bush regime: Audit the little guys who can’t fight and get the easy pickin’s for revenue, but leave the FOBs (Friends of Bush) alone.  Remember: It’s part of the neo-con mantra that the IRS is bad for stifling Big Business and that the super-rich pay far more than their fair share.

What the LAW says we should all pay was irrelevant…

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By Howie Bledsoe, December 13, 2009 at 5:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My Uncle, who worked for 30 years hard graft in construction, was audited and now sleeps with his wife in their VW bus.  Basically, he is innumerate and therefore his taxes were a bit screwey, but he at least tried, and didnt make much money, anyhow.
But they took his modest little home and everything in it anyway. And the big boys hide overseas.

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By Aarky, December 12, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Bush Administration, as part of it’s propaganda campaign to paint all Moslems as terrorist, started tracking the money collected by Moslem charities in the US. What they started to realize was that there was a huge amount of the super rich in the US who were hiding their money in off-shore bank accounts to avoid taxes. A US citizen who had worked for UBS of Switzerland came to them and volunteered information to reduce his expected jail sentence. So far UBS has paid a civil penalty of $780 million dollars for knowingly encouraging this activity. Even though they had 52,000 Americans with accounts in that one bank they have agreed to give up the names of 4400 who are believed to have $20 billion in assets hidden at UBS. UBS is only one bank in Switzerland. There are many other locations such as the British Caymans that cater to hiding money. Read: Our money is buried in the Caymans—Let’s Get it Back”,“IRS Unlocks UBS Vault Hiding Americans Evading Taxes”, “Wealthy Americans Under Scrutiny in UBS Case”. The IRS estimates that $100 billion is lost in taxes each year because rich Americans hide their money overseas. Another $100 billion is lost because of tax cheats and tax loopholes for US corporations.

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By bogglesthemind, December 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

“IRS UNIT AIMS AT DEEP POCKETS”

Curiously, reading this little Reuters ditty brought to mind the phrases “Smoke
& Mirrors” - “Shell Game” . . .

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By Carl, December 12, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

One of the biggest stories of the year was ignored by the corporate media. This involved the IRS and the pursuit of rich Americans with secret bank accounts at UBS. That big Swiss bank had agreed to hand over the names and account info on 65,000 U.S. citizens. UBS had bought Paine-Webber a few years ago and was illegally touting secret accounts in the USA, so the IRS caught them and threatened to seize its American assets.

I was eager to hear how many of these included Congressmen, judges, Generals, and CEOs. Suddenly, they began to talk about far less, and ended agreeing to hand over just 4000 names that UBS “suspected” might be tax evaders. How would UBS know unless the IRS screened the 65,000 people beforehand? Anyway, this was all swept under the rug and forgotten. No names have been released, and if any are ever handed over they will only be small accounts or small time criminals.

I’ll write an article if truthdig would like.

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By ardee, December 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Some years ago, when I had my own trucking business, I had the dubious distinction of being audited. As I was basically honest there was little to it but one thing the auditor noted has stuck in my mind.

When I asked him, during the course of the exhaustive prying, how did they fare when auditing the super rich he replied that they never did as those guys send in a covey of high priced attorneys and simply overpower the process.

If this report is true then this new investigative unit is long, long overdue.

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By ChaoticGood, December 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

This is wonderful news, now if only we could bring back the “stocks” and pin these greedbags in them and throw rotten garbage at them.
These rich people are the scum of America and they need to be brought down and scourged.
Go I.R.S. Go !
I just wish I was 40 years younger, I would join you. Its the nearest thing to a modern Robin Hood that I can imagine.

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