Accessing the Offshore Funds
How do taxpayers involved in these schemes enjoy the fruits of their abusive scheme since their funds are offshore? There are several methods to repatriate the taxpayer's funds to the U.S. All of these methods, at some point, involve the opening of foreign bank accounts. Two examples are described below:
- A bank account is opened in the tax haven country and a debit or credit card is issued from the account. These cards are used by the taxpayer in the U.S. to withdraw cash and to pay for everyday expenses. Since the cards are issued by banks located in tax haven countries, it is very difficult for the IRS to trace these transactions back to the taxpayer.
- An International Business Corporation (IBC) is established. Funds are transferred from the foreign trusts to the IBC via foreign bank accounts. Fraudulent loans are set up from the IBC to taxpayers and funds are wired back to the taxpayers in the U.S. Because loans are generally not taxable, the repatriation of funds is not reported on a U.S. tax return. In addition, because the ownership of IBCs is documented with bearer shares and IBCs are located in tax haven countries, it is very difficult for the IRS to prove that fraudulent loans are actually the taxpayer's income.