A federal crackdown on Miami tax evasion - namely efforts targeting offshore accounts that hide income and wealth - have been thwarted by a lack of tax prosecutors.
In fact, Miami tax defense attorneys and others close to the situation know that the U.S. Justice Department's tax division is down about 30 percent of its prosecutors in March alone.
Bloomberg News reports that of the 95 prosecutors that specialize in tax law, 25 were re-assigned to other areas across the country, for at least a period of six months. In fact, at least 11 major criminal cases were reportedly underway when the prosecutors were transferred to areas such as organized crime, child trafficking, narcotics and immigration. The cases involved financial advisers and foreign banks that were reportedly helping wealthy U.S. clients to circumvent their tax obligations.
It's a fact that these prosecutors have a great deal of knowledge and experience when it comes to matters of tax law. That's why having a skilled tax law defense attorney is so crucially important in these cases.
An official with the justice department was quoted as saying that tax evasion, particularly in the form of offshore accounts, continues to be a high priority for the agency. That means that regardless of these transfers, if you are charged with such a crime, you are going to need an attorney who is well-versed in the law and has experience in handling cases of such caliber and complexity.
These prosecutors were also working within a division that investigates and goes after individuals accused of illegal tax shelters and identity theft.
The crackdown on offshore accounts really gained momentum in 2007. That's when the justice department and the IRS started honing in on UBS AG (also known as UBSN), which is the biggest bank in Switzerland. This is a bank that ducked prosecution in 2009 by admitting to helping individuals commit tax evasion, paying nearly $800 million and giving the government information on some 4,600 accounts.
Federal prosecutors then dug through those records, and have since filed criminal charges on approximately 20 foreign bankers and at least 40 taxpayers in the U.S.
The IRS reports that about 30,000 taxpayers in the U.S. have circumvented prosecution with regard to their offshore accounts by entering a program of limited amnesty. If they paid back taxes and disclosed who had helped them hide their accounts, they wouldn't face jail time. Many of those cases are still ongoing, and it's obvious that transferring those prosecutors has slowed the entire process.
This would be true in any arena of law, but it's especially the case in white collar and tax-related crimes because they are so complex.
Still, the justice department continues to maintain that it will be as vigilant. Part of the six-month re-assignment program, according to department officials, involves tax fraud prosecutors educating others in different jurisdictions about how tax evasion and other scams are carried out.
Miami Tax Evasion Attorney A. Antonio Tomas offers a free consultation to individuals dealing with tax issues, including IRS Audits or allegations of tax evasion. Tax planning services are also available. Call 305-648-1040.