It seems that FBAR has gone mainstream. According to an the Express-Star in Okalahoma, scammers are now posing as the IRS and using FBAR in emails to scare people.
“That’s why the agency is a favorite of scammers who try to trick victims into disclosing personal information. A new scheme is packaged in a spam email with the heading “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).”
Scammers pose as IRS in attempt to get data
I guess we can take this as a positive. FBAR has gone mainstream. Or is this an IRS marketing attempt?! Here is how they education the U.S population. Send out a Scammer alert!
Sure would save ’em a bundle, eh? ;-P
*@Pertos, I didn’t know where else to post this question, I see the counter at 236,929 now. Traffic to the site must be increasing, are there any stats you can share with us?
@TrueNorth, Google analytics says we’ve had 10,269 unique visitors since we started on the dot.ca domain. We are easily over 900,000 total page views since starting the Isaac Brock Society on December 12, 2011.
What I actually find most interesting about this is – Oklahoma? Are having foreign accounts big there or something?
Over 10,000 unique visitors. We should have had a celebration!
How ironic – scammers posing as the IRS. Kind of like the IRS posing as a responsible government department.
This is off-thread but might be of interest:
The German state of Rhein-Westfalia has purchased a second CD with private financial information of Germans with Swiss Bank accounts.
I found this passage of interest:
It says that most of those people who get caught are “little fish” who don’t have “highly complex and difficult to understand investment vehicles”. The average account is between €500K and €1.5M and many are small to medium sized business owners who put their wealth into Switzerland during the cold war.
At least the IRS isn’t going around paying millions (€3.5M for one CD!) on the black market for CD’s with lists of American offshore accounts. Interestingly, one reason the Germans are balking at signing the Swiss/German bilateral tax agreement is because of their success in exposing and robbing those Germans trying to protect their wealth from the welfare state.
This paragraph in interesting:
So the Germans also expect the Swiss Banks to enforce their tax laws. As I have said many times, FATCA is the tip of the iceberg and not just about stealing wealth from American Expats.
As far as I know, it is much easier and less costly to get back into compliance between European countries. There is already a withholding on interest payments in Switzerland that covers the tax burden of recalcitrant account holders who do not want to reveal their assets. This withholding is also imposed on Swiss residents anonymously by the banks once interest depasses 400 Swiss Francs per year (or something on the order of that). Taxpayers can get some of this withholding back, depending upon their total income, if they declare the accounts to the Swiss tax authorities. If they wish to keep some accounts secret, well, they have already paid more than enough tax.
@JTD: Swiss banks offer a class of investments that are known as “Quellensteuerfrei” (withholding free), some of which are sovereign and bank bonds. I believe most of these are only traded in Luxembourg (which is just as big a tax haven as Switzerland) but are available to Swiss banks. With these investments there is no withholding of 30%.
Besides, even if a German had hidden accounts in Switzerland where taxes had been withheld, the chances are that he would still owe more in Germany since German tax rates on interest and dividends are definitely more than in Switzerland and are likely bigger than the 30% withholding. Also, Germany has a capital gains tax where Switzerland has none.
But one is far more likely to end up in prison for tax evasion in the US than in Europe, so in this sense Europe is “easier” to come into compliance.