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More Tax Problems for U.S. Citizens with Foreign Bank Accounts in Israel

On August 28, 2011, the Supervisor of Banks at the Bank of Israel and the supervisory authorities in the US––the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation––signed a Statement of Cooperation. The Governor of the Bank of Israel, Prof. Stanley Fischer, confirmed the signing of the document.

The signing of the Statement of Cooperation is intended to formalize and strengthen the cooperation between the Banking Supervision in Israel and the supervisory authorities in the US, in order to facilitate the process of supervising banks incorporated in both countries for purposes of cross-border activity, and to promote the safe and sound functioning of those banks. The Statement of Cooperation also reflects the commitment of the above mentioned authorities to the principles of consolidated supervision and cooperation among banking regulators.

 The Statement of Cooperation establishes a mechanism for the transfer of information between the authorities in the context of the authorization process of establishing cross-border banking activity in the US or Israel, and in the context of their ongoing function as regulators of banking activity.

 The Statement of Corporation also regularizes the cooperation in supervisory processes carried out by each of the authorities, including those related to planned inspections of cross-border establishments, the identification of suspected money-laundering activity or the financing of terrorism, and banking activity without a permit. The Statement of Cooperation also deals with the sharing of information about banks in Israel and the US under common ownership or control.

The Supervisor of Banks, David Zaken: "The arrangements set out in the Statement of Cooperation are expected to boost cooperation with the US authorities with regard to the supervision of Israeli overseas banking offices operating in the US and the overseas offices of US banks operating in Israel."

The announcement didn't specifically mention FBAR or foreign bank accounts, however, it appears that this will be just one more avenue for the Internal Revenue Service to pursue in locating U.S. citizens who have unreported bank accounts in Israel. According to the press release the Statement of Cooperation establishes a mechanism for the transfer of information between the authorities in the context of the authorization process of establishing cross-border banking activity in the US or Israel, and in the context of their ongoing function as regulators of banking activity.

When added to the ongoing grand jury investigations of Israeli banks, and the implementation of FATCA in 2013 it demonstrates the danger of continued non-reporting of foreign bank accounts-especially for dual Israeli citizens.

Read more at: Tax Times blog

 
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