Interview with Victor Song, Former Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation (CI)

IRS Buidling

I had the opportunity to speak with the former Chief of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (CI), Victor Song, about the future of international tax enforcement.  International enforcement has been a top priority for the IRS for many years, and Mr. Song has had a critical role in that effort.  Mr. Song’s tenure with the IRS spanned 30 years. He joined in 1981 and became a special agent in 1983. He rose to the position of deputy chief of CI in 2007, was appointed CI chief in January 2010, and retired from CI in December 2011. Mr. Song then served as the Executive Vice President of Compliance and Advisor to the CEO for Samsung Electronics America; he currently runs Victor Song Consulting, concentrating on services for tax controversy, anti-money laundering, corporate compliance and internal investigations.… Read More

FATCA Watch: IRS Has Begun Disclosing Foreigners’ Account Information to FATCA Partners

FATCA WatchThe Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, is designed to combat offshore tax evasion by requiring foreign financial institutions to provide the IRS with information about their U.S.-person accountholders or face a substantial penalty. In response to early criticism by the international banking and finance communities that FATCA involved American unilateral demands for information, the U.S. government entered into Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) with other countries, committing the signatories to reciprocal information sharing. Under the IGAs’ terms, the foreign signatory is obligated to provide (or authorize its financial institutions to provide) information to the IRS regarding accounts held in the foreign jurisdiction by U.S.… Read More

Update: American Expats’ Challenge to FATCA Dealt Another Blow

After their legal challenge to FATCA was dismissed by the Federal Court of Canada, discussed previously in this blog, two American expats sought an injunction from the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal to bar the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) from transmitting account data to the IRS, in accordance with the IGA between the two countries.

On September 30, 2015, the court denied the requested injunction, and noted that the CRA intended to disclose the account data later that same day, in accordance with the IGA’s terms. Apparently Canada is not taking advantage of the IRS’s recent extension of the disclosure deadline for Model 1 IGA countries, like Canada, to September 30, 2016.… Read More

Canadian Court Rejects American ExPats’ Challenge to FATCA

The Federal Court of Canada recently dismissed a suit by two American expatriates challenging Canada’s role in implementing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a U.S. law designed to thwart tax evasion. The ruling came as Canada prepares to make its first disclosure to the United States of information regarding financial accounts held in Canada by U.S. persons pursuant to the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the two countries, which was enacted in connection with FATCA.

FATCA, enacted in 2010 and effective July 1, 2014, is designed to prevent tax evasion by making it nearly impossible for U.S. taxpayers to maintain undisclosed offshore assets.… Read More