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• June 2005: The New York-based Big Four International accounting and consulting giant KPMG has been subject of an IRS investigation seeking information on firm’s clients that used offshore tax shelters and bank accounts.
• June 2005: Eric Bassingthwaite (an alias) operating out of Channel Islands, and Philip Egglishaw, a Geneva-based Swiss attorney, were targeted for their roles in assisting wealthy Australian attorneys, executives and celebrities (all now under criminal investigation) in illegally sheltering more than $300 million is assets offshore.
• July 2005: In UK, HM Revenue & Customs office crackdown on tax evasion and offshore banking resulted in criminal charges for hundreds of client of “offshore” services.
• July 2005: New EU tax rules open up offshore accounts held in several prominent tax havens to scrutiny by government authorities for purpose of collecting taxes.
A word of caution: Beware…though taxman certainly can’t catch everyone, their powers and methods are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
Phillip Townsend, an international consultant, has contributed to national and international publications, including Money magazine, GQ, the International Employment Gazette, Expat World, Freebooter, The Monitor (formerly “Mouse Monitor,” published by the now defunct Scope International, UK) and numerous others. His website is www.nsliving.info