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Swiss Bank Voluntary Disclosure Program offers Swiss banks and Swiss banking professionals an opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution.

The US Department of Justice and the Swiss government have announced a limited time opportunity to enter a special voluntary disclosure program and avoid criminal prosecution for activities related to tax evasion. Over the past several years the US Department of Justice and the IRS have undertaken an aggressive effort to identify tax evasion schemes involving US citizens who have failed to report income received through interest payments from bank accounts in Switzerland, India, Luxembourg, Israel, Lichtenstein and the Caribbean. These investigations are part of an ongoing US effort toward global enforcement laws on citizens and entities that fall under it's jurisdiction. While targets of the DOJ efforts largely remain US citizens, resident aliens, any person who passes the substantial presence test, businesses, corporations and LLC's doing business within the US, due to agreements between the Swiss and the US, the DOJ is now also prosecuting Swiss citizens in connections with these activities.

What do Swiss Banks and Swiss banking professionals need to do now?

With the December 31, 2013 deadline for program enrollment rapidly approaching, it is strongly recommended that Swiss Banks and Swiss banking professionals who may be connected with the activities in question begin enrollment in the program immediately. Due to the complicated nature of the processes involved, the assistance of a qualified tax attorney with experience in both international audits and IRS voluntary disclosure programs is advised.

William D. Hartsock, Esq. is a tax attorney specializing in the resolution of IRS tax problems. Mr. Hartsock represents clients throughout Southern California (CA), San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and surrounding cities including Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, Poway, Vista, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, Carmel Valley, Mira Mesa, La Jolla, Downtown San Diego, etc. Mr. Hartsock and his team of income tax attorneys represent clients with serious tax problems and financial concerns, in many areas of IRS tax law including; bankruptcy taxes, California tax problems, criminal tax issues, discharging taxes, offshore trust accounts, tax appeals, IRS audits, tax evasion, tax fraud, trust fund taxes, bankruptcy tax defense, litigation in United States Tax Court, offers in compromise, international tax audits, and more.

Clients often come to this tax law firm facing difficult financial issues and tax problems that could put their personal and/or financial assets at risk. Individual taxpayer clients often face the potential loss of their automobiles, house, savings, and even their income, while business clients are often at risk of losing their company’s financial assets, not to mention their customer relationships and overall business reputation.

In all cases, our clients require representation from an IRS tax attorney in San Diego who understands and respects the confidential nature of their problem and possesses the skill and experience to find the right solution for their particular problems and goals. The professional tax attorneys at TaxLawFirm.net understand the problems and priorities of individuals, highly compensated professionals, business owners and executives experiencing IRS tax and financial issues.

In addition to his Juris Doctor degree, William D. Hartsock has a Masters in Taxation, and is a Certified Tax Law Specialist, the highest designation available to tax attorneys in California. The IRS, California taxing authorities, and other institutional creditors use a team of attorneys, accountants, and auditors to represent their interests. Mr. Hartsock is supported by an experienced legal and professional staff that helps to level the playing field when it comes to tax issues. If you are seeking a corporate or income tax attorney in San Diego with expertise in handling complex financial issues, then engage William D. Hartsock, Esq., the leading tax attorney in San Diego to defend you and your property. Contact us to schedule a consultation with a TaxLawFirm.net tax attorney today, and get tax relief now!

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When faced with the possibility of an audit or litigation from the IRS, many people immediately think to call their CPA, tax preparer or their “friend that knows about taxes.” This may seem like a logical next step, however, there are two huge reasons why you should call a tax litigation lawyer instead. The first reason is confidentiality. When you employ a tax litigation attorney you automatically attain "attorney-client privilege". The second reason is that you really need the comprehensive guidance of a certified tax specialist who understands not only the laws, but is intimately familiar with the strategies that the IRS will use to pursue the case and the defense strategies that will afford you reprieve.

William D. Hartsock Esq., Certified Tax Law Specialist, and the tax litigation attorneys at TaxLawFirm.net can represent and advise you with a wide variety of IRS problems, including (but not limited to):

  • Bankruptcy
  • IRS Back Taxes
  • IRS Penalties Including
  • Levies, Liens and Wage Garnishment
  • IRS Tax Relief
  • Tax Appeals Litigation
  • Tax Audit Representation
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The IRS will randomly audit 4%-8% of the general population, and will audit 8%-10% of the tax returns with an adjusted gross income of over $80,000.  If this happens to you, it's important to be prepared and understand the potential problems that may arise during the audit.  Keep in mind that the IRS Revenue Agent, no matter how friendly that person may become, is not your friend.  They are there to do a job.

In the event your income tax returns are audited by the IRS/FTB it's an important decision to make who will represent you.  If your tax preparer represents you in the audit, then they will be looking at ways to assure that the understated income or overstated deductions are not their fault.  This creates a huge conflict of interest for the tax preparer who is truly representing their own self-interest, and is why you should consult an independent tax attorney who is looking out for your best interests.

  • Representing taxpayers rights since 1982
  • Experts in all technical tax rules and regulations.
  • Experience with hundreds of tax audits.
  • We have fought and won some of the most controversial and litigated audits with the most combative IRS Agents.
  • Deeply understand the most current and up-to-date tax laws.
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TaxLawFirm.net is an aggressive tax firm whose practice is limited to tax disputes with the IRS and state governmental tax agencies.  This includes all international audit efforts placed upon you by the IRS. A free initial telephone call to us should answer your most compelling questions about international audits.  This no obligation telephone call is strictly confidential, protected by attorney–client privilege and will never be disclosed. We provide the full scope of services related to your offshore business concerns including overseas audit help and assistance, setting up of offshore trust accounts, and proper reporting of concerns. All of our attorneys are highly skilled and specialized, each having achieved the top designation in their field. All of our lawyers are designated “Certified Tax Law Specialists” by the California Bar Association. There is simply no higher designation in the Industry available. Choosing an attorney from our firm means you'll be getting the highest standard of care in the Industry.

The IRS is currently auditing and prosecuting holders of offshore credit cards, offshore bank accounts, foreign trusts, and international business companies for tax evasion and failure to report transfers. There are an unlimited number of legitimate defenses that are very effective to combat the government's egregious penalties and crimes, each dependent upon each taxpayer's own facts and circumstances.

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The most common tax crimes include tax evasion, willful failure to file return or supply requested information, willful failure to collect or pay over withholding tax, preparing false tax returns or submitting false tax documents, making false statements to governmental tax officials, making false claims, perjury, bribery, aiding and abetting in the preparation of false documents, and failure to file currency transaction reports. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division obtains evidence from civil audits, informers, and other leads in order to pursue criminal investigations against taxpayers. This includes ex-spouses, disgruntled employees, co-workers and business competitors. Virtually all criminal tax investigations are commenced and worked extensively prior to notifying the taxpayer, or the taxpayer even becoming aware of the investigation. During any criminal tax investigation, your constitutional and legal rights must be advocated, or in some cases they will be deemed waived or lost.

Additional tax crimes include:

  • Evasion of payment in tax collection cases
  • Stacking of corporate and individual tax liabilities
  • Aiding and abetting tax fraud
  • Failure to collect or pay over withholding tax
  • False withholding statements
  • Conspiracy to impede or defeat the collection of tax.
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When you are unable to pay your taxes in full within the amount of time allowed by law, the Internal Revenue Service and/or the Franchise Tax Board will begin a process, known generally as Tax Collections, to obtain the money you owe. The Tax Collections process is initiated when the government mails you a tax bill, which will remain outstanding until all the money owed has been paid. When the allotted time to pay your taxes expires and the amount of tax you owe has not been paid in full, the government will mail you what is commonly referred to as a “first notice.” This notice serves as the government’s formal demand for payment, and to notify you that if payment is not made, the government will act on its right to impose a lien or levy on your money or property in order to collect. The IRS has ten years from the date of assessment to collect unpaid taxes from you, but is often extended beyond the ten year period because the collections period was suspended for a period of time for various reasons. Ignoring tax bills or notices that you receive will result in compounded daily interest and monthly late penalty to be assessed against you, thus adding to the amount you owe. Not addressing the situation might also eventually lead to such unpleasant circumstances such as having your bank account levied upon and/or your paycheck garnished.

Alternatives for preventing or eliminating Tax Collections actions from being taken against you include:

  • Pay the tax liability in full
  • File all required tax returns or provide proof that you have no filing requirement
  • Apply for an Installment Agreement
  • Make an Offer in Compromise
  • Establish that financial hardship prevents you from paying your tax debt.
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Bankruptcy taxes are best defined by the business or individuals who want to wipe out or reduce their tax through bankruptcy. To go through this type of bankruptcy taxes procedure, two forms of bankruptcy taxes protection are typically used: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The effect on bankruptcy and federal taxes is Immediate, upon filing. Once you file a tax bankruptcy, an "automatic stay" arises and all IRS enforced collection action must cease temporarily. In this manner bankruptcy income taxes help is quick. As soon as it learns of the filing of a bankruptcy taxes petition, the IRS posts its computer system with a "bankruptcy hold" code to avoid inadvertent violation of the automatic stay.

Among other things, permitted IRS actions include:

  • Demanding any and all delinquent returns be filed
  • Issuing summonses to determine the true tax liability
  • Auditing taxpayer's returns
  • Issuing a notice of deficiency
  • Assessing uncontested liabilities
  • Re-filing a notice of federal tax lien
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An offer in compromise allows you to settle your tax debt with the IRS for less than the full amount that you owe. If you cannot pay your full tax liability, or if doing so would create a financial hardship for you, then this may be a legitimate option to consider. Generally the IRS will accept an offer in compromise when the amount offered is the most that they can reasonably expect to collect from you within a reasonable period of time. However, prior to submitting an offer in compromise it is critical to first consider all other payment options in order to ensure that you offer in compromise is not rejected.

Your offer in compromise will be considered based on your unique set of facts and circumstances, such as:

  • Ability to pay
  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Asset Equity
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A trust fund recovery penalty is when a corporation or business entity has failed to sufficiently file its payroll taxes. In an effort to collect on the amount due, the IRS will seek to hold individuals personally responsible for the debt including business owners, high ranking executives, board members, an office, director, bookeeper, payroll department personnel, human resource director and any other employee who held decision making authority over creditor payments. Assessment factors include the ability to sign checks, day-to-day management, hiring and firing of employees and the authority to sign and file tax returns. There are defenses available under the law, however it is critically important to understand the specific tactics that the IRS will use to attempt to gather evidence and build a case against you so that you may adequately defend yourself.

the IRS wants to determine the responsible party utilizing the following criteria:


  • Are you the "responsible" part of the business?
  • Did you "willfully" fail to collect or overpay trust fund taxes?
  • Did you have complete knowledge that trust fund taxes were not paid?
  • Did you have the authority to control said payments?
  • Did you prepare or sign the 941 returns?
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While most married taxpayers chose to file jointly for the benefits, the detriments remain that both parties are then responsible for any tax, interest or penalty related to the return, even if they later divorce. Relief options however, are available to spouses (or ex) given particular circumstances. These options are Innocent Spouse Relief, Separation of Liability and Equitable Relief.

In qualifying for Innocent Spouse Relief, you can be relieved of the tax, interest and penalties if your spouse wrongly reported or omitted items on the return. Separation relief separates the responsibility of unpaid liabilities between you and your spouse, former or current.

In order to seek innocent spousal relief, separation of liability relief, or equitable relief, you should submit a completed form 8857 to the IRS. If you request relief from joint and sevaral liability, the IRS is required to notify the spouse with whom you filed the joint return of your request and all them to provide information for consideration regarding your claim.

Types of Relief From Joint and Several Liability For Spouses

  • Innocent Spouse Relief: This will provide relief from additional tax owed if your spouse or former spouse failed to report income, reported income improperly or claimed improper deductions.
  • Separation of Joint and Several Liability: This provides for the allocation of additioanl taxes owed between you and your spouse if you are separated because items were not reported properly on your joint tax return.
  • Equitable Relief: This may apply when you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief for something not reported properly on a joint tax return, that also may be attributed solely to your spouse. 
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Voluntary Disclosure has been practiced by the criminal investigation unit of the IRS for years. It allows taxpayers who are in a state of non-compliance to become so by disclosing their foreign accounts and assets thereby eliminating their risk of being recommended for criminal prosecution by the IRS. This process keeps the taxpayer on the civil side of investigations as long as they remain compliant and cooperative. Foreign Bank and Financial Account Reports or FBARs are required to be filed in a Voluntary Disclosure as a tool to help the government identify persons using foreign accounts that bypass U.S. laws. The same is true even if the account held produces no income. Failure to file an FBAR can result in a monetary penalty and or criminal penalty if you willfully fail to file or file a false report.

We can help you:

  • Structure your offshore trust accounts properly.
  • Updated your offshore trusts to stay current with both US and foreign tax law.
  • Protect your foreign assets
  • Determine if offshore trusts are for you
  • Much more
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A Message From William D. Hartsock


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