By this time on Friday, evading taxes in offshore accounts will change from illegal to what is technically called "super-illegal." An amnesty for repatriation of those funds expires tomorrow and those who don't come in from the cold will face substantially higher fines or worse.
The New York Times, always sympathetic to the little guy, knows just who to sympathize with: the spectacularly rich tax dodgers who now have to come clean and pay the piper. The bad guy, of course, is the rat: the international banks that can no longer afford to shield scofflaw depositors because they have themselves been busted.
And those depositors, or at least one, is taking personal responsibility to a new low.
At least 4,000 clients of UBS and other private banks have come forward in recent months … One of those clients was Bruce Krasting. Last December, UBS … told him that the bank was closing his offshore account and mailing him a check for the balance: $830,000.
Mr. Krasting, 59, realized that if he didn’t own up to the I.R.S., he had just two other options: Find another offshore bank in Switzerland or the Caribbean — and risk being discovered — or leave a trail for the I.R.S. by depositing his money into a United States bank.
“I knew I was walking into a buzz saw that was going to cost me and my family half a million dollars, and that it was triggered by UBS,” Mr. Krasting, a former Wall Street trader, said.
Triggered by UBS? It was triggered by the U.S. Government's success in catching his accomplice in a scheme to avoid taxes. In essence, Mr. Krasting is arguing "I am doing an illegal thing. I realized that if my accomplice came clean, I'd have to either do another illegal thing or also come clean. Stupid accomplice!"
If he has a valid argument that the money isn't taxable, he can make it; nothing prevents him from challenging any assessment in Tax Court. I also understand that he would be upset at his partner in crime for failing to take the fall for him. I do NOT understand why he – much less the New York Times – would expect me to consider him a sympathetic victim.
Mr. Krasting, you are welcome to cry into your remaining half-mil until you calm down.
(Hat tip to F-Train for sending me the article)
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