Next on the IRS Offshore Hitlist – Zurcher Kantonalbank and N.T. Butterfield & Son

Next on the IRS Offshore Hitlist – Zurcher Kantonalbank and N.T. Butterfield & Son


U.S. bank authorities are actively seeking to find and charge American taxpayers who are suspected of tax evasion by hiding assets and income in foreign bank accounts. Their newest efforts involve authorizing special summonses in order to gather information of American tax evaders of Switzerland’s Zurcher Kantonalbank and Bermuda’s N.T. Butterfield & Son.

Even though both the banks do not have operations in the United States, they maintain correspondent accounts in four U.S. and one United Kingdon based bank. The banks include Bank of New York Mellon, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, HSBC Bank and Bank of America. The John Doe summonses authorized by the court will be used by the IRS to nail down individuals suspected of tax misreporting whose identities are unknown.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kathryn Keneally stated that the John Doe summonses will “provide information about individuals using financial institutions from Switzerland to the Cayman Islands to Hong Kong to avoid their U.S. tax obligations”.

Recently, similar summonses were used to zero in on suspect American clients of London-based HSBC’s India division. Also, John Doe summonses were authorized to find guilty tax evaders banking with UBS, a Swiss banking giant. Ultimately, UBS disclosed information on around 4,450 American clients. UBS was also penalized with a hefty $780 million under a deferred agreement since it acknowledged that it had helped US taxpayers in hiding income and evading taxes.

Vic Abajian, a former IRS tax attorney, continues to assist taxpayers with foreign account and asset issues before the IRS. He currently represents dozens of clients with foreign accounts both within the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program and those that are involved in civil audits. He also represents several clients who have received grand jury subpoenas requesting information related to offshore bank accounts. Mr. Abajian has also consulted with foreign banks. To learn more about options and how to make a voluntary disclosure of an offshore bank account, please contact Los Angeles Tax Attorney Vic at 818-396-5059. We have offices in Irvine and Glendale, California and represent taxpayers throughout the nation and those located in foreign countries.

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