New York, NY, April 13, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Matthew D. Lee, Partner, Blank Rome LLP will speak at the Knowledge Congress’ webcast entitled: “Foreign Bank Account Reporting and Enforcement Update: The Internal Revenue Service’s 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative and The New FBAR Regulations,” scheduled for June 16, 2011 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (ET). For further information, please visit: http://www.knowledgecongress.org/event_2011_FBAR.html
All U.S. taxpayers are required to file an annual reporting form called a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (or FBAR), which states whether they have a financial interest in any bank accounts maintained in foreign countries. The failure to file this form annually is a felony and can also subject non-filers to substantial civil penalties.
Both the U.S. Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service have announced that foreign bank account reporting and compliance is a top enforcement priority. In 2009, the Justice Department entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank. The UBS agreed that it had assisted thousands of U.S. taxpayers in committing tax evasion by maintaining secret bank accounts in Switzerland for decades. Since that time, over twenty criminal prosecutions have been filed against UBS account holders, bankers, and investment advisors. Also in 2009, the IRS conducted a highly successful amnesty program for holders of undeclared foreign bank accounts. During the term of that program, over 15,000 individuals came forward and admitted that they had secret bank accounts in Switzerland and other foreign jurisdictions.
In February 2011, the Internal Revenue Service unveiled its 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative, a long-awaited second amnesty program designed to encourage U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed foreign bank accounts to come into compliance with U.S. tax laws and avoid possible criminal prosecution. Shortly thereafter, the Treasury Department announced new regulations governing foreign bank account reporting which are effective for FBARs due to be filed by June 30, 2011. These new regulations make substantial changes to the foreign bank account reporting requirements and are effective immediately.
About Matthew D. Lee
Matthew D. Lee is a former U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney who concentrates his practice on white collar criminal defense and federal tax controversies. He has extensive experience in advising clients on foreign bank account reporting obligations and voluntary disclosures of offshore accounts, and has published numerous articles on these topics. He also has represented clients in all stages of proceedings before the IRS, including audits, appeals, and collections, and Tax Court litigation. Matthew has experience in conducting corporate internal investigations and advising clients on corporate compliance issues involving the Bank Secrecy Act, the USA Patriot Act, and anti-money laundering laws. He has represented corporations and individuals in criminal investigations involving tax, money laundering, health care, securities, public corruption, and fraud offenses.
About Blank Rome LLP
Blank Rome is a full-service, multi-disciplinary law firm with offices in California, Delaware, Florida, Houston, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Philadelphia, Washington, Hong Kong, and later this spring, Shanghai. It is one of America's fastest growing law firms with close to 550 support staff and over 500 attorneys engaged in the practice of law across many disciplines providing exceptional service to clients for more than 60 years.
For more information about Matthew D. Lee and Blank Rome LLP, please visit: http://www.blankrome.com
About The Knowledge Group, LLC/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series
The Knowledge Congress is a series of live webcasts produced by The Knowledge Group, LLC, which examine trends, regulatory, and technology changes across a variety of industries. “We bring together the world's leading authorities and industry participants through informative two-hour webcast that study the impact of changing regulations and help businesses succeed through proper regulatory compliance.” For more details, please visit: www.knowledgecongress.org.