Warp Speed: An Appropriations Update

Oink Oink

Last night, as expected, Congress took a giant step toward finishing appropriations this year, as a House and Senate conference committee agreed to a $446.8 billion discretionary omnibus, which includes six of the seven remaining appropriations bills. In addition, the House this afternoon passed, by a vote of 241 to 181, the tax extenders package as a standalone measure rather than attaching it to an appropriations bill; and it's completely paid for!

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Over 14,000 Tax Cheats Came Forward Under IRS Amnesty Program

Internal Revenue Service

Yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the results of its tax amnesty program that ended on Oct. 15. It turns out some 14,700 taxpayers came forward to report previously undisclosed foreign bank accounts under the voluntary disclosure program the IRS implemented following the U.S. government's settlement with Swiss Bank UBS earlier this year.

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Malta Treaty May Provide Model for Combating Tax Havens


Congressional Quarterly (subscription required) relayed an interesting story yesterday about how a little-known tax treaty negotiated under the George W. Bush administration may become the model for lawmakers in Washington looking to crack down on tax havens.

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Calls for Stricter Tax Haven Legislation Answered

Like Lemmy Says

Yesterday, the chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees introduced legislation to crack down on overseas tax havens. Coming on the heels of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) successful amnesty program that rooted out tax cheats hiding assets overseas, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act would help the government root out more cheaters by providing tools to target foreign banks and other entities that provide hiding places for wealthy Americans' riches.

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Tax Amnesty Program Ends with Calls for Stricter Legislation

Get out of Jail Free

At the close of business today, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stopped accepting applications to its amnesty program from citizens hiding assets overseas. In the wake of UBS's acquiescence to U.S. demands earlier this year to out American clients hiding riches in the Swiss bank, a record number of taxpayers came forward to take advantage of the program. In light of these disclosures, some in Congress are advocating for more forceful tax legislation to help the IRS continue to root out overseas tax shelters.

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Have You or a Loved One Been Hiding Assets Overseas? UPDATED


The New York Times is reporting that as part of the recent information exchange agreement between the U.S. and Switzerland, UBS will ultimately hand over the names and account details of close to 5,000 wealthy American citizens suspected of tax avoidance. According to the Times, Switzerland has 370 days to examine the accounts of some 4,450 clients before turning the information over to the IRS and DOJ. Moreover, the agreement allows the Swiss government to work with other Swiss financial institutions to disclose the identities of other Americans suspected of hiding money offshore.

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