Daily Tax Report Quotes Scott Michel on Panama Papers Database
Scott D. Michel spoke with Daily Tax Report about the recent release of a searchable Panama Papers database containing hundreds of thousands of Panamanian shell companies and what faces taxpayers who find their names in the database. For the full article, please visit the Daily Tax Report's website (subscription required).
Excerpts taken from the article.
“While there are people in this database who are engaging in tax evasion or worse, there are probably a lot of people in this database who have perfectly legal offshore entities,” said Scott Michel, a member of Caplin & Drysdale Chartered in Washington. “Because of this leak, their affairs are now public, and that is a matter of great concern. People in this position assumed some degree of confidentiality here. What they're doing could be entirely and perfectly legal.”
Michel said "the database could provide tax authorities, including the Internal Revenue Service, with a list of taxpayers it could cross-check with tax returns, identifying potential cases of non-reporting to be investigated or audited."
It also is possible, Michel said, "that many of those identified in the database have reconciled their offshore holdings through the IRS's voluntary disclosure programs, which began in 2009."