Moskowitz LLP Provides Guidance On What New Treaty Means For Those Who Have Bank Accounts in China

Sep 05, 2013, 08:00 ET from Moskowitz LLP

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Moskowitz LLP is a tax law firm that successfully represents U.S. citizens and green card holders who have financial interests outside the United States, allowing them to legally meet American tax laws while minimizing their criminal exposure, monetary fines and penalties. China has now joined the U.S.' efforts to combat tax evasion by entering into the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters on August 27, 2013.  The gravamen of this new treaty with China is that the U.S. will be able to easily identify individuals and entities with offshore bank accounts (and other financial interests, such as rental property, businesses, investments, income and assets) in China. This treaty between the U.S. and China, combined with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which takes effect in 2014, is a pincer movement that will identify to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) U.S. citizens and green card holders who are subject to U.S. tax law that have not been reporting their tax and assets to the IRS as is required. 

By entering into this convention, China and other nations (56 so far) agree to exchange financial information spontaneously for tax, financial, and other audits. Further, China will actually seize income and assets in China and pay them over to the IRS in exchange for the IRS and other countries doing the same. By way of this treaty, China has bound its banking, financial, and other institutions to the United States' FATCA law. FATCA requires Foreign Financial Institutions (FFI) to report all of their information on U.S. citizens and permanent residents. FFIs and their employees who do not comply will have their income and assets seized by the U.S. government. 

"The previously illegal, but very effective method of tax evasion was hiding income and assets in other countries. This no longer works, and the U.S. government can now find you easily," said San Francisco tax attorney Steve Moskowitz. "Most of the tax authorities in the world have gotten together to not only exchange information, and to assist the other countries in their tax audits, but to actually physically seize the assets and income in the home country and then pay it over to the U.S. taxing authorities, in exchange for like treatment."

Compliance with FATCA by Chinese financial institutions will affect many unaware U.S. citizens, green card holders, and other residents with ties to China. It does not matter if one is using a different name, such as a Chinese name, for the account in China and using a different name in the United States, as the new FATCA law, long in the making, was able to overcome this common tactic to illegally avoid the tax law.

Individuals who do not report money held in foreign accounts (as well as a wide variety of other foreign financial income and assets - even certain foreign gifts and insurance) to the IRS face criminal prosecution and monetary fines that can easily exceed all the income and assets that the person ever had or will have due to the extreme punishments of this law. Moskowitz LLP has represented and helped many individuals who have previously not reported their foreign bank accounts, foreign income, and assets, and recommends consulting with a San Francisco tax attorney while you have many more options, rather than wait until the U.S. government identifies you, because you then have limited options and resources. All consultations at Moskowitz LLP are attorney-client privileged. This confidentiality ensures that there is no risk to you in finding out how FATCA or the treaty will affect you and your family.

About Moskowitz LLP

Moskowitz LLP is a full-service tax law firm with worldwide clientele. The practice offers legal consultation and representation to both businesses and individuals in an array of tax matters.  Supported by certified public accountants, paralegals and administrative assistants, the attorneys at Moskowitz LLP are able to provide comprehensive and effective legal representation for your tax matters.

Stephen M. Moskowitz, Founding Partner
180 Montgomery Street
Suite 1950
San Francisco, CA

SOURCE Moskowitz LLP