Zurich Insurance DOJ Penalties – Swiss Insurer Caught Hiding Assets

Zurich Insurance DOJ Penalties - Swiss Insurer Caught Hiding Assets (Golding & Golding)

Zurich Insurance DOJ Penalties – Swiss Insurer Caught Hiding Assets (Golding & Golding)

Zurich Insurance DOJ Penalties – Swiss Insurer Caught Hiding Assets

It is safe to say that as a result of FATCA, renewed interest in FBAR, and the U.S. forming various International Tax and Reporting enforcement groups, that Switzerland’s ability to act as a safe offshore tax haven to hide U.S. client assets has long passed.

Zurich Insurance DOJ Penalties

In years past, Switzerland was a great place to hide assets.

In recent years, the U.S. Government has secured settlement agreements, deferred prosecution agreements, and criminal convictions against many involved with Switzerland foreign banks and financial institutions.

SwissZurich Insurance Penalized by DOJ for Hiding Client Assets

Add Zurich Life Insurance Co. Ltd. to the list.

As provided by Amy Lee Rosen at Law 360:

Zurich Life Insurance Co. Ltd. agreed Thursday to pay the U.S. a penalty of over $5.1 million to avoid prosecution over allegations it assisted U.S. taxpayer customers in evading taxes and reporting requirements through sales of minimal risk insurance policies.

For more than six years beginning in 2008, the company issued insurance policies to U.S. customers, who in turn used them to evade reporting requirements and taxes by not disclosing them to the Internal Revenue Service, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The undeclared insurance policies of those customers had a total value of about $102 million, the government said.

“The Tax Division remains steadfast in its goal of ending the use of offshore banking and insurance products when used to commit tax evasion,” Richard E. Zuckerman, principal deputy assistant attorney general, said in a statement. “This resolution with Zurich should serve as a strong message to those who use offshore bank accounts and insurance products to evade taxation that the Department of Justice is committed to stopping such fraud.”

Certain insurance policies can qualify for favorable tax treatment. But the government said the policies offered by Zurich Life and Zurich International Life Ltd., which are indirectly owned subsidiaries of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. of Switzerland, did not meet the minimal requirements, so the increase of principal under those policies was subject to taxation. Zurich should have known it was helping its U.S. clients conceal their ownership of undeclared assets from the IRS, the U.S. said.

Generally, taxpayers are required to disclose policies on Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, known as FBAR, the DOJ said. “

What Does this Mean to You?

It means that forgetting that Zurich paid a large fine to the U.S. Government – your financial information may have been turned over to the U.S. Government as part of the settlement agreement.

Unfortunately, this puts you at risk.

Non-Compliance with U.S. Tax Law

Whether it is because you did not you had to report foreign accounts, thought you were below the threshold for filing, did not realize non-bank accounts were required to be reported, and/or have other unreported income, accounts, investments or assets – we can help.

Safely Get Into IRS Offshore Compliance

Presuming the money was from legal sources, your best options are either the Traditional IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program, or one of the Streamlined Offshore Disclosure Programs.

4 Types of IRS Voluntary Disclosure Programs

There are typically four types of IRS Voluntary Disclosure programs, and they include:

How to Retain Experienced Counsel?

Our clients have asked up to prepare an Offshore Disclosure Attorney Fee Summary Guide for you to help separate fact from fiction when selecting an attorney.

Contact Us Today; Let us Help You.

International Tax Lawyers - Golding & Golding, A PLC

International Tax Lawyers - Golding & Golding, A PLC

Golding & Golding: Our International Tax Lawyers practice exclusively in the area of IRS Offshore & Voluntary Disclosure. We represent clients in 70 different countries. Managing Partner, Sean M. Golding, JD, LL.M., EA and his team have represented thousands of clients in all aspects of IRS offshore disclosure and compliance during his 20-year career as an Attorney. Mr. Golding's articles have been referenced in such publications as the Washington Post, Forbes, Nolo and various Law Journals nationwide.

Sean holds a Master's in Tax Law from one of the top Tax LL.M. programs in the country at the University of Denver, and has also earned the prestigious Enrolled Agent credential. Mr. Golding is also a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist Attorney (A designation earned by Less than 1% of Attorneys nationwide.)
International Tax Lawyers - Golding & Golding, A PLC