Tax and Accounting Correspondent
Lynnley's Feed
Oct 12, 2011

US accuses 2 ex-Baer bankers of aiding tax evasion

Oct 11 (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday indicted two
former private bankers with Julius Baer on charges of
selling tax evasion services to wealthy Americans, drawing yet
another Swiss bank into the crosshairs of the U.S. Justice
Department amid a widening crackdown on offshore tax evasion.

While the indictment of the two bankers, Daniela Casadei
and Fabio Frazzetto, did not name their employer and referred
only to “Swiss Bank #1,” that bank is Julius Baer, according to
a person briefed on the matter.

Oct 5, 2011

US wins three tax cases involving big banks, KPMG

4 (Reuters) – United States prosecutors said on Tuesday
they had won three major cases against American clients of
questionable tax shelters including ones used by a Dallas
billionaire and Wells Fargo Co. and others designed by
Citibank and accounting firm KPMG LLP.

The separate cases, the verdicts of which were rendered last
Friday, represent a significant victory for the US Justice
Department, which was sued by each of the three clients when
the Internal Revenue Service denied as improper their claimed
deductions that totaled hundreds of millions of dollars.

Sep 28, 2011

U.S. client tax indictment raises pressure on HSBC

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – U.S. authorities charged an Indian-American client of HSBC Holdings on Wednesday with evading U.S. taxes through the global bank’s India operations, increasing pressure on Europe’s second largest bank over its offshore private banking services.

Federal prosecutors in Milwaukee filed a superseding indictment against Arvind Ahuja, a neurosurgeon in Greendale, Wisconsin, that fleshed out details of HSBC’s work with Americans born in India and highlighted the role of two unnamed HSBC bankers in New York.

Sep 20, 2011

U.S. probes 8 offshore banks for aiding tax evasion

By Lynnley Browning and Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – Eight offshore banks are the subject of United States federal grand jury investigations examining whether they helped Americans evade taxes, a sign that authorities may be ready to issue subpoenas to those banks as part of a crackdown on offshore tax cheating.

In a highly unusual action late on Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice disclosed the probes on a website page discussing its tax division’s Offshore Compliance Initiative. It did not identify the eight banks by name, a move that would have been a felony under criminal procedure rules, and removed the reference on Tuesday.

Sep 16, 2011

U.S. tax-evasion probe turns to Israeli banks

Sept 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. pursuit of offshore tax
evaders is widening to include Israel, where U.S. authorities
are scrutinizing three of Israel’s largest banks over
suspicions their Swiss outposts helped American clients evade
taxes, people briefed on the matter said.

The banks under scrutiny by the U.S. Justice Department’s
criminal tax division are Bank Hapoalim (POLI.TA: Quote, Profile, Research), Bank Leumi
le-Israel BM (LUMI.TA: Quote, Profile, Research) and Mizrahi-Tefahot(MZTF.TA: Quote, Profile, Research), the
sources said.

Sep 15, 2011

Exclusive: U.S. tax-evasion probe turns to Israeli banks

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – The U.S. pursuit of offshore tax evaders is widening to include Israel, where U.S. authorities are scrutinizing three of Israel’s largest banks over suspicions their Swiss outposts helped American clients evade taxes, people briefed on the matter said.

The banks under scrutiny by the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal tax division are Bank Hapoalim (POLI.TA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Bank Leumi le-Israel BM (LUMI.TA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Mizrahi-Tefahot(MZTF.TA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the sources said.

Sep 9, 2011

U.S. readies papers v. Swiss banks on tax evasion

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – The United States is drafting legal documents that seek to force nearly a dozen Swiss banks and international banks with Swiss branches to disclose the identities of American clients evading billions of dollars in taxes, sources briefed on the matter said.

The drafting of the documents — grand jury subpoenas and broad requests known as John Doe summonses — is a fresh U.S. shot across the bow at Switzerland and its battered tradition of bank secrecy.

Sep 9, 2011

Exclusive: U.S. probes Liechtenstein bank on tax dodge work

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – Federal prosecutors in New York are building a criminal-fraud case against Liechtenstein’s oldest bank, Liechtensteinische Landesbank, that could result in charges it helped wealthy Americans evade taxes, according to persons briefed on the matter.

These persons said an investigation has been under way for at least six months.

“We do not wish to comment on this matter,” Cyrill Sele, a spokesman for Liechtensteinische Landesbank, said on Friday when asked about the investigation.

Sep 9, 2011

U.S. probes Liechtenstein bank on tax dodge work

Sept 9 (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors in New York are
building a criminal-fraud case against Liechtenstein’s oldest
bank, Liechtensteinische Landesbank, that could result in
charges it helped wealthy Americans evade taxes, according to
persons briefed on the matter.

These persons said an investigation has been under way for
at least six months.

Sep 1, 2011

Companies shift losses to high-tax countries to trim taxes

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – For nearly two decades, global corporations have increasingly shifted trillions of dollars in worldwide profits to low-tax countries across the Caribbean, Europe and Asia to reduce their tax bills and maximize the bottom line.

With the shaky world economy now battering those profits, a new trend has emerged: some corporations are quietly moving losses back to high-tax countries, a move that can also lower their tax bills.