and worse than Shulman: http://www.taxanalysts.com/www/features.nsf/Features/C21A42AD927007A285257D780057410A?OpenDocument
MR. HOFFMAN: What did you think of Steven Miller’s comments last week that he’s not sure that FATCA’s benefits will outweigh its costs, which were followed, I believe, followed shortly thereafter, by Nina Olson’s comments somewhat along a similar vein, concerned about the cost versus benefits of FATCA? COMMISSIONER KOSKINEN: Well, I think it’s always an important question if you’re going to make statutory changes and increase, by definition almost, some burden to some extent. You know, what do you gain from that? You know, we’ve already collected 6 or 7 — now over $7 billion in additional revenues that would otherwise not have been collected just through the offshore voluntary disclosure program. And, you know, that’s — there the burden was simply people had to come forward. It was a fairly straightforward process, so there was a fairly significant amount of money in return. I’ve always thought that the problem you have is you can’t measure the benefit just by the taxes you collect. What you have to do is measure the benefit by the overall impact on the system generally. And what I’ve always been, even before I got here, concerned about was if the average taxpayer felt I’m paying a greater burden of supporting the government because rich people with fancy lawyers and accountants don’t have to pay taxes, they can hide money in Switzerland. You know, hiding money in Switzerland has been a visible issue for 50 years. It’s corrosive to compliance and corrosive to the system. So when you’re going to talk about measuring the benefit, you can’t look just at the burden and the additional resources we get out of the filings there. But having said that, there are indications, not surprisingly, there was a preliminary review that said between 2011 and 2012 — in fact, you guys reported it — we got 500,000 more returns about foreign accounts with $100 billion of income. And we’re seeing the same thing in 1099-Ks. But even as we do that, as I say, and we’re tracking, the voluntary compliance rate is going up as we go. In some cases, when people match, the revenue goes up, then suddenly their expenses magically go up. But those are signals that we can follow. So I think in FATCA, when you look at it, you won’t be measuring just by the amount of money we collect from the people we catch. You won’t be measuring it just by the increased reporting and money we collect from people who now are with the program. Ultimately, the benefit is, again, protecting the overall compliance rate in the sense of the average taxpayer that it’s a fair system.
Where Shulman was vindictive, Koskinen is brain dead! We saw this in his “testimony” before Congress about the IRS harassment of conservative charities where he defined bureaucratic arrogance in the face of the people’s representatives! He ignores his own department’s internal evaluations to continue a program that is spiteful, hateful, useless, and imperialistic. He talks of the $7 billion, but misses that most of these people were resident INSIDE THE USA, NOT OVERSEAS! He doesn’t consider that 70% of this revenue represents penalties; of the 30% that represents taxes due, 80% are past taxes due, not recurring revenue. So of that $7 billion less than $1 billion is likely to be on-going revenue and therefore won’t come anywhere close to covering the costs for administering FATCA! In the meantime, the global banking community will be spending tens of billions to comply with this Frankenstein piece of BS legislation!
Americans have given up their passports because of the imposition of this decidedly un-American and un-Constitutional process, and it makes the dual American citizens second-class with respect to their privacy everywhere.
Finally, he clearly doesn’t have an F-ing clue about who pays what in America. Those making over $200,000 pays over 80% of the taxes in America – this comes from the IRS.gov statistical data-book available on-line to anyone. It is the rich people with their fancy lawyers and accountants who pay almost ALL of the taxes that the IRS collects. Those making $50K or less only pay some 6% of the taxes collected.
Koskinen clearly is interested in serving his department instead of serving “we, the people”, for if it were the other way around, he should be fired already! And not just for this. The bigger reason that he conveniently doesn’t mention when he quotes that erroneous $7 billion figure is his department has been sending out over $20 BILLION each year in fraudulent tax returns according to TIGTA – i.e., the IRS’ own internal auditor! And all overseas Americans and duals are meant to think none of this will happen with our accounts once the details of our bank accounts, their numbers, the amounts, along with our social security numbers and addresses are in their possession??
This is the height of BS out of this administration! And it has a lot of competition!!
This has got to be one of the most unintelligible things that could be uttered by a man who is supposed to be smart. It makes no economic sense to go chasing after a dollar if it will cost you more than a dollar to acquire it.
Forcing those who are outside the U.S. to pay taxes and abide by tax regulations that have no relevance to them, just to appease the resident tax payers is not justice. These are the rationalizations of a corrupt government.
We can certainly see that there will not be justice coming from Washington any time soon if ever. Renunciation is the only option.
I am pretty sure you have to file form 8972 if you want to call the head of the IRS a nasty name. It’s informational but carries a penalty of $10k / year / name.
I loved this bit:
>It was a fairly straightforward process
I was in the straightforward process for 2 years. I must have kept sliding down the snakes and I missed all the ladders (or “eels and escalators” or “shuts and ladders”). Every day was just another shake of the dice.
He has no idea.
His comments just illustrate the mentality of DC (not just Treasury and the IRS) – he really believes that CBT is fair and FATCA just helps enforce compliance of laws already on the books. He has no clue, has and will never be the victim of the pointy end of the FATCA spear. He will never be the one to stand up and say to Congress “hey CBT is unfair, it’s hurting US citizens living abroad, we need to move to RBT to solve this problem”….he is so clueless and DC centric he will never see the problem never mind propose to fix it.
I liked a$$hole better, but jerk works too.
I actually thought Patric use of braindead was better than my original.
Tim, make up your mind. Which is it?
a) a a$$hole
d) all of the above
There was a recent debate on Brock about Rehab and the ethical argument for lying in certain circumstances. I do believe that this is the same “jerk” that was … shall we say … being disingenuous through his teeth at a Congressional hearing a while back at which the subject of the Lois Lerner disappearing disk drive data was discussed. ANYBODY listening to this person has to be brain-dead or have a severe agenda.
Lol. Is there an amnesty program for not filing an 8972?
I too know just how straightforward their amnesty programs are. 3 years and still sliding down snakes.
Koskinen is a Stepford Wife.
Nobody could ever be as bad as Shulman, no matter how braindead he/she may be.
Shulman was downright vicious and clearly enjoyed persecuting innocent expats under his self-declared success at international tax-enforcement. His constant declaration that it was our “last chance” to come forward was contemptible. A mean-spirited little man who delighted in torturing easy prey with no guts to go after the real cheats. I cannot tell you how I delighted in watching him squirm under questioning from the Oversight Committee. Watch this to see a willful liar in action:
Worst Irs Commissioner Ever:
FRAUDULENT? Fraudulent is calling unconstitutionally high penalties “taxes”!!! 7 billion NOT in taxes, but in the criminal behaviour of a rogue government which doesn’t comply with its own constitution.
Is it any wonder that homelanders dont have a clue? They listen to this garbage and they believe it.
Even when we are rightfully lambasting Koskinen for his statement. Let’s not forget who is really behind all this…
@WhiteCat. make that all of the above, and he’s not the only one.
After all that spew, he did not answer the question. What I think he said was it is OK for it to cost more
to make everyone feel they are getting a fair shake. So it must be OK to spend $2 to get $1. ?
More ignorant BS spew from this joker. Does he even know what he is saying?
@Whitekat, I could add some very choice words to the list but shall hold back.
@Brockers, I just read some more about the upcoming amnesty for illegal migrants in the US. Yes, amnesty for them a Berlin Wall for us. Minimum 9 million maximum 34 million.
Folks, its time to simply put a fork in it, the city on the hill is D-E-A-D. Massive illegal migration all amnesty granted, uncontrollable spending at all levels of government, military adventures all over the world.
Thank God, I am out of that place.
@beth thomas, “So it must be OK to spend $2 to get $1”
Its OK for the rest of the world to bend a gazillion dollars so the US gets a million.
Its OK for people who are a Citizens of X who do not considers themselves to be American to spend $10,000 on accounting fees to pay the US zip zero nada.
Face it people, this is not healthy rationale thinking.
I think we have the rare privilege of seeing a dying empire and yes its a dying empire.
Be careful. If you’re in OVDP too long then they keep those initial payments you made. So it doesn’t matter if they are later shown to be wrong. They are gone for good. Remember in OVDP the statutes of limitations mean that for all years you still owe and they never do because refunds have expired.
Yes, I know about that Neill, but won’t speak to that right now. Thanks.
Thanks for that, Tricia. Shulman’s lies changed the course of my life.
Koskinen makes no mention about any of the programs spawned by OVDI. How can any organization function effectively when it has to implement so many programs to fix the problems created by the previous ones? Their inefficiencies and lack of foresight have squandered shameful amounts of scarce resources.
The IRS is for the most part dysfunctional. The fact that Koskinen can say anything with a straight face is amazing. Look how he’s trying to calm taxpayers by actually saying that the IRS cares about them. It’s Orwellian:
…”Three Presidnts and dozens of bills later, we have individual rates over 40%, considering phaseouts and the Obamacare surtaxes. We have dozens of regularly expiring provisions that require lobbyists to pay homage to the taxwriters every year or two. We have unprecedented complexity that forces even smart taxpayers with simple financial lives to pay to get their returns done. And we have land mines all over the tax law, including foreign reporting provisions that can impose $10,000 penalties on taxpayers who have paid all of their taxes.”…
Re: “It was a fairly straightforward process, so there was a fairly significant amount of money in return.” I think he was talking about how the IRS saw its own experience of FATCA, since the U.S., of course, had minimal enforcement costs.
I was struck by the alleged $100 billion additional income in 500,000 additional filings. That’s an average of $2 million per filing. The average U.S.-born person abroad doesn’t earn that kind of money. That’s a lot of money to have separate from the primary residence. I hope that they aren’t thinking that everyone abroad has those kinds of assets, although I suspect that they do.
On the Swiss bank accounts and fifty years ago, his answer was not accurate (but maybe he doesn’t know the truth?). Money flowed into Switzerland fifty years ago because people were concerned about the stability of the global financial system. Dollars were backed by gold, but it was pretty clear that that system was unsustainable, so money flowed into the harder Swiss currency because people worried about a sharp devaluation of the dollar. During other periods tax evasion may have been the prime motivation, but 50ish years ago it was definitely the impending collapse of the Bretton Woods system and the Treasury Department knew this.
The question is on the burden to taxpayers vs. the revenue the IRS gets:
>And, you know, that’s — there the burden was simply people had to come forward. It was a fairly >straightforward process, so there was a fairly significant amount of money in return.
He is saying the burden on me was that I just needed to give the IRS a bell and that was it. They got a lot of money from it so we are good. Except it took 2 years of hell so the burden was very high.
I can’t see how your reading of it makes sense based on the question.