BUSINESSMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CONCEALING $8.4 MILLION
A Connecticut business executive, George Landegger, pled guilty to willfully failing to report $8.4 million held in Swiss bank accounts to the I.R.S. During the early 2000’s until 2010, Landegger maintained undeclared accounts which reached a maximum value of over $8.4 million at an unidentified Swiss bank.
While Landegger’s defense attorney confirmed that Landegger has not been accepted to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“O.V.D.P.”), Landegger, according to the prosecutors, repeatedly rejected the possibility of disclosing his undeclared accounts to the I.R.S. through the O.V.D.P. and instead proactively took steps to conceal his accounts. Landegger held his undeclared accounts in a sham entity formed by a Swiss lawyer under the laws of Liechtenstein. In August 2013, the Swiss lawyer pled guilty to tax fraud conspiracy charges and has been cooperating with prosecutors.
Landegger agreed to pay a civil penalty of over $4.2 million and more than $71,000 in back taxes as part of his plea, entered on January 15, 2015. Landegger’s sentencing will be held May 12. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. In his statement, I.R.S. Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas E. Bishop stressed that uncovering hidden offshore accounts and income is the Service’s top priority and that it will continue working with the Department of Justice to do so. This case illustrustrates the importance of a timely O.V.D.P. submission.
OBAMA PROPOSES INCREASE IN CAPITAL GAINS TAX, ELIMINATION OF STEPPED-UP BASIS ON INHERITED ASSETS
President Obama has proposed a 28% tax rate on capital gains for couples with $500,000 in annual income and eliminating the stepped-up basis on inherited investments. Obama believes that these tax increases will help to pay for expanded benefits for middle- and low-income households. Congressional Republicans have indicated that they would not support Obama’s proposal.