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Charles Ruchelman Comments on Israeli Bank Disclosures

February 3, 2014

Nationwide media from the Jewish community have quoted Charles M. Ruchelman concerning the tax implications for U.S. citizens with unreported Israeli, Swiss, or other foreign bank accounts.  The U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service are requiring foreign banks, including Israeli and Swiss banks, to disclose information on their U.S. account holders.  For additional coverage, please see the links below.

Matzav
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Tax Attorney CPA Blog
The Isaac Brock Society
Greenback Expat Tax Services
BDO Seidman's Silobreaker
The American Israelite
The Times of Israel
Jewish News
JNS.org

Excerpt taken from the article.

According to Charles M. Ruchelman, a member of the Washington, D.C. law firm of Caplin & Drysdale, some Israeli banks are already notifying U.S. account holders that they may be disclosing the relationship between the Israeli banks and their U.S. owners to the U.S. Department of Justice, which could result in fines—or even prosecution—for Israeli account holders who didn't inform the U.S. of the funds they have abroad.

"Israel wants to stay on the good side of the U.S. and to be a friend and an ally, so the banks are going to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. government," Caplin & Drysdale's Ruchelman told JNS.org.

"[Americans with Israeli bank accounts] really need to talk to an attorney," Ruchelman said. "There is a cost to that, but doing so will be getting criminal exposure off the table so you can sleep at night."

Ruchelman said part of the reason for OVDP is to give individuals who really did not know about the law a chance to make good, and to get people back into compliance and back into the system. He explained that the U.S. is losing millions of dollars per tax year, which is multiplied exponentially over decades. He added that when FATCA goes into effect, there would no longer be a chance to plead innocent or ignorant.

Ruchelman explained, "Whether you are intentionally hiding it or not, the information will be sent to the IRS. … The IRS voluntary disclosure program … could change at any moment. … U.S. taxpayers should move quickly."

 

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