As U.S. turns up heat on tax laws, Americans in Israel start to sweat

June 12th, 2009


An increased commitment by the U.S. to enforce more strictly tax laws regarding the declaration of offshore accounts have some American-Israelis who never bothered filing the appropriate form worrying about the right way to proceed. While some accountants with worried clients say it is time to come clean, others say the government is focusing on those trying to use Israel as a tax haven.

According to U.S. law, Americans are required every year to file a document called “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts,” or FBAR, if they own or have signature authority over accounts outside the U.S. whose combined maximum value exceeds $10,000. In the wake of a recent tax evasion scandal involving the Switzerland-based UBS bank, the government has updated the FBAR, asking for more detailed information, and stepped up its efforts to hunt down those who fail to file the form.

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