IRS Posts 'Dirty Dozen' Tax No-Nos

Staten Island commercial bank sees annual list as instructive

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Hiding money offshore is among the warnings from the Internal Revenue Service in last week's release of its yearly “Dirty Dozen” caveats.

 

Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based business bank, observes that the IRS is proclaiming a priority on efforts to stop offshore tax evasion.

Hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts, therefore, remains on the annual IRS list of tax scams known as the “Dirty Dozen” compiled for the 2015 filing season.

The annual list is intended to remind taxpayers to use caution and protect themselves against a wide range of offenses ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud.

Released for the current filing season, the list cites identity theft; multiple variations of phone scams; “phishing” to trap victims into providing personal and financial information that a criminal can use to commit identity or financial theft; and false promises of “free money” from inflated refunds.

Also: Unscrupulous preparers of tax returns; hiding income offshore; impersonating charitable organizations; false income, expenses or exemptions; promoting frivolous schemes that encourage taxpayers to make outlandish claims to avoid taxes.

Additionally: Falsely claiming zero wages or using a false form 1099 (various versions of 1099 relate to aspects of income); abusive tax structures; and misuse of trusts.

As for the offshore offenses, a statement attributed to IRS commissioner John Koskinen said, "The recent string of successful enforcement actions against offshore tax cheats and the financial organizations that help them shows that it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore.”

Over the years, the IRS says, numerous individuals have been identified as evading U.S. taxes by hiding income in offshore banks, brokerage accounts or nominee entities and then using debit cards, credit cards or wire transfers to access the funds.

Others have employed foreign trusts, employee-leasing schemes, private annuities or insurance plans for the same purpose, the agency adds.

“While there are legitimate reasons for maintaining financial accounts abroad, there are reporting requirements that need to be fulfilled, the IRS says.

U.S. taxpayers who maintain such accounts and who do not comply with reporting requirements are breaking the law and risk significant penalties and fines, as well as the possibility of criminal prosecution, it warns.

In 2012, the IRS reopened its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, which the agency says will remain open “for an indefinite period until otherwise announced.”

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.

 

 

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