NBC Quotes Scott Michel on Panama Papers

NBC News

NBC News spoke with Scott D. Michel on the significance of the nearly 11.5 million records from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that were leaked to the media.  Mr. Michel represents thousands of individuals and several banks in their U.S. tax compliance investigations, audits or voluntary disclosures.  For the full story, please visit NBC News' website.

Excerpt taken from the article.

Others are trying to dodge the IRS.

"People do it to hide money for tax reasons," said Scott Michel, a partner at the law firm of Caplin & Drysdale. By creating, say, a shell company based in Panama, with a subsidiary in the Bahamas or Cayman Islands, and a bank account in yet another country, a person could be attempting to fly under the radar of investigators by making it difficult to figure out who actually owns those assets.

"It adds a layer of concealment to the owner," Michel said.

. . .

With the passage of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FACTA, tax regulators have gotten more aggressive, Michel said.

"The broader question of why it matters in general is that you've seen, over the past eight or so years, a tremendous enforcement effort by the U.S. and other tax authorities aimed at ferreting out individuals who have unreported offshore bank accounts and other assets," Michel said.


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