IRS seeks names of shell company holders at Belize Bank

12032994_1500461453579689_7311386203288474804_nBelize Bank was the first banking institution in Belize to lose its correspondence with Bank of America. The de-risking process has also seen Atlantic International Bank losing its US correspondence in recent months.  All of this is due to the United States’ clamping down on its citizens who have tried to evade U.S. taxes by placing monies in offshore accounts.  According to an online article titled, “IRS Hunts Belize Accounts, Issues John Doe Summons To Citibank, BofA” , a federal court in Miami, Florida has approved a Special ‘John Doe’ legal summons to direct Citibank and BofA to produce records identifying U.S. taxpayers with accounts at the Belize Bank International Limited or Belize Bank Limited.  The article also mentions a company by the name of Belize Corporate Services,  saying that it provides so-called “shelf” corporations, i.e., paper companies that can be named as the purported owners of offshore accounts. According to the IRS declaration, all three entities are corporate subsidiaries of BCB Holdings Limited.  With a normal summons, the IRS seeks banking information of a specific taxpayer whose identity it knows. However, when it doesn’t know the name of taxpayers possibly evading the system, a John Doe summons allows the IRS to get the names of all taxpayers in a certain group . It is not the first time the IRS has been able to obtain a  John Doe Summons of this nature; although, it is the first time for Belize.  A John Doe summons to UBS AG produced records on the now defunct Swiss bank Wegelin & Co.’s correspondent account at UBS.  That eventually led to UBS divulging the names of US Citizens with offshore accounts at that institution and it also lead to  a $780 million penalty for the Bank.

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