Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The President That You Elect Could Impact Your Estate Taxes

During my 30+ years as a senior attorney at the IRS and my subsequent career as a tax consultant, I have see an ongoing struggle over the rate of tax to be imposed on estates.  Generally this ebb and flow has pitted Republican party attempts to eliminate the estate tax vs. the Democratic party's attempts to increase the estate tax rate. 

The peripheral battle has seen many of the traditional "shelters" lost but offset in many ways by the unlimited marital deduction and the graduated $5.4 credit shelter and portability.  Additionally the Congress imposed a generation skipping tax to prevent extremely wealthy families from escaping estate tax in successive generations. 

What is on the horizon as we enter the last weeks before the presidential election? I am not sure that I have seen an exact plan for the estate tax's future if the Republicans prevail but Candidate Clinton has discussed raising the maximum rate to 65% with additional brackets at 45%, 50%, 55%, and 60% along the way. 

        Clinton Tax Plan
Hillary Clinton proposes raising taxes
on high-income taxpayers, modifying
taxation of multinational corporations, repealing fossil fuel tax incentives, and increasing estate and gift taxes.

His plan would significantly reduce marginal tax rates on individuals and businesses, increase standard deduction amounts to nearly four times current levels, and curtail many tax expenditures.  

This coupled with the attack on Section 2704 FLP discounts will mean that virtually every family of substantial wealth will have a serious dent put in its attempt to pass wealth from one generation to the next.  See our post Do You Have a FLP or LLC With Valuation Discounts? You Better Talk With Your Tax Advisor!
This factual pattern should alert the most skillful of estate planners to create new techniques to offset this impending increase in estate tax rates.

For more details see our previous post Time to Compare Candidate's Tax Plans Again! where we discussed Hillary's plan for Restoring fair taxation on multi-million dollar estates

 Have a US Estate Tax Problem?

Estate Tax Problems Require
an Experienced Estate Tax Attorney

Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.
 for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).
Robert S. Blumenfeld  - 
 Estate Tax Counsel
Mr. Blumenfeld concentrates his practice in the areas of International Tax and Estate Planning, Probate Law, and Representation of Resident and Non-Resident Aliens before the IRS.

Prior to joining Marini & Associates, P.A., he spent 32 years as the Senior Attorney with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Office of Deputy Commissioner, International.
While with the IRS, he examined approximately 2,000 Estate Tax Returns and litigated various international and tax issues associated with these returns.As a result of his experience, he has extensive knowledge of the issues associated with and the preparation of U.S. Estate Tax Returns for Resident and Non-Resident Aliens, Gift Tax Returns, Form 706QDT and Qualified Domestic Trusts.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

144 Offshore Banks & Now Financial Advisors Are Turning Over Your Names To The IRS - What Are Your Waiting For?

 On May 26, 2016 we posted 97 Offshore Banks Are Turning Over Your Names To The IRS - What Are Your Waiting For? and since then the Government has add 47 more Banks and FINANCIAL ADVISORS to this list bringing the number to 144 Offshore Banks and Foreign Financial Advisors.

The IRS keeps updating its list of foreign banks which are turning over the names of their US Account Holders, who are now subject to a 50% (rather than 27.5%) penalty in the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). This penalty is based on the highest account balance measured over up to eight years. 

Under the program, banks are required to:
  • Make a complete disclosure of their cross-border activities;
  • Provide detailed information on an account-by-account basis for accounts in which U.S. taxpayers have a direct or indirect interest;
  • Cooperate in treaty requests for account information;
  • Provide detailed information as to other banks that transferred funds into secret accounts or that accepted funds when secret accounts were closed;
  • Agree to close accounts of account holders who fail to come into compliance with U.S. reporting obligations; and
  • Pay appropriate penalties.
These Banks, Financial Instructions and Foreign Financial Advisors  have made substantial efforts to cooperate with the IRS investigation, including by:
  1. facilitating interviews that their Office with employees, including top level executives;
  2. voluntarily producing documents in response to the Office’s requests;
  3. providing, in response to a treaty request, unredacted client files for the U.S. taxpayer-clients who maintained accounts at their Banks or Financial Instruction; and
  4. committing to assist in responding to a treaty request that is expected to result in the production of un-redacted client files for U.S. taxpayer-clients who maintained accounts at these Banks and Financial Instructions and with these Foreign Financial Advisors. 
The complete list of Offshore Banks and Foreign Financial Advisors who are turning over the names of their US Account Holders, who are now subject to a 50% (rather than 27.5%) penalty in the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP)is as of 11/15/16
  1. UBS AG
  2. Credit Suisse AG, Credit Suisse Fides, and Clariden Leu Ltd.
  3. Wegelin & Co.
  4. Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG
  5. Zurcher Kantonalbank
  6. swisspartners Investment Network AG, swisspartners Wealth Management AG, swisspartners Insurance Company SPC Ltd., and swisspartners Versicherung AG
  7. CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited, its predecessors, subsidiaries, and affiliates
  8. Stanford International Bank, Ltd., Stanford Group Company, and Stanford Trust Company, Ltd.
  9. The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in India (HSBC India)
  10. The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited (also known as Butterfield Bank and Bank of Butterfield), its predecessors, subsidiaries, and affiliates
  11. Sovereign Management & Legal, Ltd., its predecessors, subsidiaries, and affiliates (effective 12/19/14)
  12. Bank Leumi le-Israel B.M., The Bank Leumi le-Israel Trust Company Ltd, Bank Leumi (Luxembourg) S.A., Leumi Private Bank S.A., and Bank Leumi USA (effective 12/22/14)
  13. BSI SA (effective 3/30/15)
  14. Vadian Bank AG (effective 5/8/15)
  15. Finter Bank Zurich AG (effective 5/15/15)  
  16. Societe Generale Private Banking (Lugano-Svizzera) SA (effective 5/28/15)
  17. MediBank AG (effective 5/28/15)
  18. LBBW (Schweiz) AG (effective 5/28/15)
  19. Scobag Privatbank AG (effective 5/28/15)  
  20. Rothschild Bank AG (effective 6/3/15)
  21. Banca Credinvest SA (effective 6/3/15)
  22. Societe Generale Private Banking (Suisse) SA (effective 6/9/15)
  23. Berner Kantonalbank AG (effective 6/9/15)
  24. Bank Linth LLB AG (effective 6/19/15)
  25. Bank Sparhafen Zurich AG (effective 6/19/15)
  26. Ersparniskasse Schaffhausen AG (effective 6/26/15)
  27. Privatbank Von Graffenried AG (effective 7/2/15)
  28. Banque Pasche SA (effective 7/9/15)
  29. ARVEST Privatbank AG (effective 7/9/15)
  30. Mercantil Bank (Schweiz) AG (effective 7/16/15)
  31. Banque Cantonale Neuchateloise (effective 7/16/15)
  32. Nidwaldner Kantonalbank (effective 7/16/15)
  33. SB Saanen Bank AG (effective 7/23/15)
  34. Privatbank Bellerive AG (effective 7/23/15)
  35. PKB Privatbank AG (effective 7/30/15)
  36. Falcon Private Bank AG (effective 7/30/15)
  37. Credito Privato Commerciale in liquidazione SA (effective 7/30/15)
  38. Bank EKI Genossenschaft (effective 8/3/15)
  39. Privatbank Reichmuth & Co. (effective 8/6/15)
  40. Banque Cantonale du Jura SA (effective 8/6/15)
  41. Banca Intermobiliare di Investimenti e Gestioni (Suisse) SA (effective 8/6/15)  
  42. bank zweiplus ag (effective 8/20/15)
  43. Banca dello Stato del Cantone Ticino (effective 8/20/15)
  44. Hypothekarbank Lenzburg AG (effective 8/27/15)
  45. Schroder & Co. Bank AG (effective 9/3/15)
  46. Valiant Bank AG (effective 9/10/15)
  47. Bank La Roche & Co AG (effective 9/15/15)
  48. Belize Bank International Limited, Belize Bank Limited, Belize Corporate Services Limited, their predecessors, subsidiaries, and affiliates (effective 9/16/15)
  49. St. Galler Kantonalbank AG (effective 9/17/15)
  50. E. Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers (effective 9/17/15)
  51. Migros Bank AG (effective 9/25/15)
  52. Graubundner Katonalbank (effective 9/25/15)
  53. BHF-Bank (Schweiz) AG (effective 10/1/15)
  54. Finacor SA (effective 10/6/15)
  55. Schaffhauser Kantonalbank (effective 10/8/15)
  56. BBVA Suiza S.A. (effective 10/16/15)
  57. Piguet Galland & Cie SA (effective 10/23/15)
  58. Luzerner Kantonalbank AG (effective 10/29/15)
  59. Habib Bank AG Zurich (effective 10/29/15)
  60. Banque Heritage SA (effective 10/29/15)
  61. Hyposwiss Private Bank Genève S.A. (effective 10/29/15)
  62. Banque Bonhôte & Cie SA (effective 11/3/15)
  63. Banque Internationale a Luxembourg (Suisse) SA (effective 11/12/15)
  64. Zuger Kantonalbank (effective 11/12/15)
  65. Standard Chartered Bank (Switzerland) SA, en liquidation (effective 11/13/15)
  66. Maerki Baumann & Co. AG (effective 11/17/15)
  67. BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA (effective 11/19/15)
  68. KBL (Switzerland) Ltd. (effective 11/19/15)
  69. Bank CIC (Switzerland) Ltd. (effective 11/19/15)
  70. Privatbank IHAG Zürich AG (effective 11/24/15)
  71. Deutsche Bank (Suisse) SA (effective 11/24/15)
  72. EFG Bank AG (effective 12/3/15)
  73. EFG Bank European Financial Group SA, Geneva (effective 12/3/15)
  74. Aargauische Kantonalbank (effective 12/8/15)
  75. Cornèr Banca SA (effective 12/10/15)
  76. Bank Coop AG (effective 12/10/15)
  77. Crédit Agricole (Suisse) SA (effective 12/15/15)
  78. Dreyfus Sons & Co Ltd, Banquiers (effective 12/15/15)
  79. Baumann & Cie, Banquiers (effective 12/15/15)
  80. Bordier & Cie Switzerland (effective 12/17/15)
  81. PBZ Verwaltungs AG (effective 12/17/15)
  82. PostFinance AG (effective 12/17/15)
  83. Edmond de Rothschild (Suisse) SA (effective 12/18/15)
  84. Edmond de Rothschild (Lugano) SA (effective 12/18/15)
  85. Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG (effective 12/23/15)
  86. Coutts & Co Ltd (effective 12/23/15)
  87. Gonet & Cie (effective 12/23/15)
  88. Banque Cantonal du Valais (effective 12/23/15)
  89. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (effective 12/23/15)
  90. Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd (effective 12/31/15)
  91. DZ Privatbank (Schweiz) AG (effective 12/31/15)
  92. Union Bancaire Privée , USP SA (effective 1/6/16)
  93. PHZ Privat - und Handelsbank Zürich AG reorganized as Leodan Privatbank AG (effective 1/25/16)
  94. Hyposwiss Privatbank AG reorganized as HSZH Verwaltungs AG (effective 1/27/16)
  95. Bank Julius Baer & Co., Ltd (effective 2/4/16)
  96. Cayman National Securities Ltd. (effective 3/9/16)
  97. Cayman National Trust Co. Ltd. (effective 3/9/16)
  98. Bradley Birkenfeld (effective 11/15/16)
  99. Renzo Gadola (effective 11/15/16)
  100. Martin Lack (effective 11/15/16)
  101. Christos Bagios (effective 11/15/16)
  102. Joshua Vandyk (effective 11/15/16)
  103. Eric St-Cyr (effective 11/15/16)
  104. Patrick Poulin (effective 11/15/16)
  105. Andreas Bachmann (effective 11/15/16)
  106. Josef Dörig (effective 11/15/16)
  107. David Kalai and Nadav Kalai (effective 11/15/16)
  108. David Almog (effective 11/15/16)
  109. Hansruedi Schumacher (effective 11/15/16)
  110. Matthias Rickenbach (effective 11/15/16)
  111. Cem Can (effective 11/15/16)
  112. IPC Management Services, LLC (effective 11/15/16)
  113. IPC Corporate Services Inc. (effective 11/15/16)
  114. IPC Corporate Services LLC (effective 11/15/16)
  115. Titan International Securities, Inc. (effective 11/15/16)
  116. Legacy Global Markets S.A. (effective 11/15/16)
  117. Unicorn International Securities LLC (effective 11/15/16)
  118. Andrew Godfrey (effective 11/15/16)
  119. Michael Little (effective 11/15/16)
  120. Edgar Paltzer (effective 11/15/16)
  121. Peter Amrein (effective 11/15/16)
  122. Daniela Casadei (effective 11/15/16)
  123. Fabio Frazzetto (effective 11/15/16)
  124. Michele Bergantino (effective 11/15/16)
  125. Mario Staggl (effective 11/15/16)
  126. Beda Singenberger (effective 11/15/16)
  127. Gian Gisler (effective 11/15/16)
  128. Felix M. Mathis (effective 11/15/16)
  129. Michael Berlinka (effective 11/15/16)
  130. Urs Frei (effective 11/15/16)
  131. Roger Keller (effective 11/15/16)
  132. Josef Beck (effective 11/15/16)
  133. Hans Thomann (effective 11/15/16)
  134. Stephan Fellmann (effective 11/15/16)
  135. Otto Huppi (effective 11/15/16)
  136. Christof Reist (effective 11/15/16)
  137. Stefan Buck (effective 11/15/16)
  138. Marco Parenti Adami (effective 11/15/16)
  139. Emanuel Agustino (effective 11/15/16)
  140. Roger Schaerer (effective 11/15/16)
  141. Markus Walder (effective 11/15/16)
  142. Susanne D. Rüegg Meier (effective 11/15/16)
  143. Martin Dunki (effective 11/15/16)
  144. Robert Bandfield (effective 11/15/16)
Outside of these banks and financial advisors, the norm within the OVDP remains 27.5%. That is far better than prosecution or much bigger civil penalties. Some taxpayers, including taxpayers with accounts at one of the 144 Foreign Banks and Financial Advisors listed above can opt for the easier and less costly Streamlined program. This list does not impact the Streamlined programs because you must be non-willful to qualify. All of this is part of the June 2014 improvements to the OVDP, which sparked new interest in cleaning up offshore accounts.
  1. With roughly 144 Foreign Banks and Financial Advisors cooperating with the DOJ & IRS and 
  2. FATCA requiring the entire world to report to the IRS
it is INEVITABLE that this increased disclosure, will result in EVERY AMERICAN eventually being discovered. Banks worldwide want to know if there US clients are compliant with the IRS.
Within the OVDP, people who Pre-Cleared
Before the various Effective  Dates
are generally Safe From the Higher 50% Penalty.
As additional banks are added to the list, only those American taxpayers that request pre-clearance before their bank is listed, will get the 27 1/2% OVDP penalty. The 50% penalty now applies to all taxpayers with accounts at financial institutions or with facilitators which are named, are cooperating or are identified in a court filing such as a John Doe summons.
Although the 50% penalty is high, willful civil violations can result in tax, penalties and interest totaling 325% of the highest balance in the account for the  most recent six years period. Recent guidance suggests that the IRS could be more lenient in the future, but the IRS’s definition of leniency can still make the OVDP a very good deal that provides certainty.  
Do You Have Undeclared Income from one of 
these Offshore Banks or
  Financial Advisors?
Is Your Name Being Handed Over to the IRS?
Want to Know if the OVDP Program is Right for You?
Contact the Tax Lawyers at 
Marini& Associates, P.A.  
for a FREE Tax Consultation
Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888) 882-9243

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Buffett Releases His Tax Data To Rebut Trump

Image result for warren buffettAccording to The New York Times Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor, volunteered more detailed information about his income taxes than Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee, ever has.
Mr. Buffett released the information after essentially being called out by Mr. Trump during Sunday night’s presidential debate.
Acknowledging for the first time that he had avoided paying federal income taxes for years by claiming nearly a billion dollars in losses in 1995, Mr. Trump then tried to shift attention to his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, accusing some of her wealthy supporters of exploiting tax laws to their own advantage.
“Many of her friends took bigger deductions,” Mr. Trump said. “Warren Buffett took a massive deduction.” Actually, he did not.
 Have a Tax Problem? 

Let Us Help!
Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.
 for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).


The U.S. Tax Court Upheld IRS Deficiency For Nearly $4 Million against a Texas CPA

According to Law360 the U.S. Tax Court the Internal Revenue Service deficiency notices for nearly $4 million against a Texas certified public accountant, finding that he couldn't seek federal income tax deductions from efforts to investigate his father's death and that asset transfers among his partnerships pointed to tax avoidance.
Have a Tax Problem? 

Let Us Help!
Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.
 for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).

Friday, October 7, 2016

More & More Fallout From the "Panama Papers"!

We previously posted More fallout from the "Panama Papers" - Commercial Bank of Taiwan To Pay a $180 Million Penalty we where we discussed that Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo announced  on 8/19/16 that Mega International Commercial Bank of Taiwan will pay a $180 million penalty and install an independent monitor for violating New York’s anti-money laundering laws.  

Now the Swiss federal authorities have announced that 450 Swiss individuals and companies listed in the Mossack Fonseca data leak have been found to 'have a link to offshore structures and Switzerland'.

Their records will be passed onto the Swiss Cantons to determine whether tax evasion has been committed, keeping in mind that under Swiss law., the use of an offshore entity is not, in and of itself, illegal.

Do You Have Undeclared Income 
From A Foreign Entity Formed By

  Do You Have Undeclared Accounts
With Any of the Following Foreign Banks?
Want to Know Witch OVDP Program is Right for You?

Contact the Tax Lawyers at 
Marini& Associates, P.A.  
for a FREE Tax Consultation
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888) 882-9243

Good Corporate US Tax Planning Gone Awry?

A new report released this week by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) posits that Fortune 500 (US-based) companies have stashed away close to $2.5 trillion in offshore accounts in an effort to reduce their tax burdens.

The report titled “Offshore Shell Games 2016: The Use of Offshore Tax Havens by Fortune 500 Companies” ranks Apple at the top of the list of tax avoiders with approximately $214.9 billion kept offshore followed by Pfizer ($193.6 billion), Microsoft ($124 billion), General Electric ($104 billion) and IMB ($68.1 billion).
Top 30 companies with the most money held offshore 

According to the report, “multinational corporations use tax havens to avoid an estimated $100 billion in federal income taxes each year” with 367 of the top 500 companies keeping 10,366 tax haven subsidiaries.

Furthermore, the top 30 firms “with the most money officially booked offshore for tax purposes collectively operate 2,509 tax haven subsidiaries,” the most popular destinations being the Netherlands. As a group, these 30 companies “account for 66 percent or $1.65 trillion” of the total figure for Fortune 500 companies.

Percent of Fortune 500 companies with 2015 Subsidiaries in 20 top tax havens 

The study also claims that most of America’s largest corporations maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax ha­vens. At least 367 companies, or 73 percent of the Fortune 500, operate one or more subsidiaries in tax haven countries.
  • All told, these 367 companies maintain at least 10,366 tax haven subsidiaries.
  • The 30 companies with the most money officially booked offshore for tax purposes collectively operate 2,509 tax haven subsid­iaries. 
The most popular tax haven among the Fortune 500 is the Netherlands, with more than half of the Fortune 500 reporting at least one subsidiary there.
Approximately 58 percent of companies with tax haven subsidiaries have set up at least one in Bermuda or the Cayman Islands, two particularly notorious tax havens. The profits that all American multinationals, not just Fortune 500 companies, collectively claimed they earned in these two island nations according to the most recent data totaled 1,884 percent and 1,313 percent of each country’s entire yearly economic output, respectively.

Profits reported collectively by American Multinational Corporations in 2012 to 10 notorious tax havens 

This practice, says the report, is unfair: “multinational companies that depend on America’s economic and social infrastructure are shirking their obligation to pay for that infrastructure when they shelter their profits overseas.”

Have a Tax Problem?



Let Us Help!


Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.
 for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).