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IRS Permitted To Seek Information On US Accounts In Belize

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
18 September, 2015

On September 16, a federal court in Miami authorized the issuance of a "John Doe" summons seeking information about US taxpayers who may hold offshore accounts in Belize.

The Justice Department stated that the court order granted the US petition for permission to seek records of the USD correspondent accounts held by Belize Bank International Limited (BBIL) or Belize Bank Limited (BBL) at Bank of America and Citibank.

It explained that those records will allow the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify US taxpayers who hold or held interests in financial accounts at BBIL and BBL (during the period from 2006 until 2014), as well as other financial institutions that used the same correspondent accounts.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline Ciraolo of the Justice Department's Tax Division said: "These John Doe summonses will provide detailed information about individuals using financial institutions in Belize and, to the extent funds were transferred, other jurisdictions."

According to the IRS court declaration, BBL is incorporated and based in Belize, and directly owns BBIL. It further states that, another BBL affiliate, Belize Corporate Services, is incorporated and based in Belize and offers corporate services including the purchase of "shelf" Belizean international business companies.

The IRS has had the opportunity to review the information submitted by BBL and BBIL customers who have disclosed their foreign accounts through the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure programs. It added that customers in the "John Doe" class may also have "failed to report income, evaded income taxes, or otherwise violated the internal revenue laws of the United States."

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