Saturday, 18 September 2021 07:22 GMT

US Justice and IRS probe Panama offshore service


(MENAFN - Newsroom Panama) Authorities from the United States Department of Justice (US) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are once again eyeing Panama after a judge authorized the IRS, to require from various courier companies and financial institutions information on US taxpayers who may have used the services of the firm Panama Offshore Legal Services (POLS) and its associates (which together it calls Grupo POLS), to evade payment federal tax.

The Department of Justice said in a statement that it seeks to trace courier deliveries and transfers between Grupo POLS and its clients, to identify those who have used the services of this group to create or control foreign assets and entities to avoid compliance with tax obligations in the United States. 

Among the entities from which information will be requested are banks such as HSBC, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and even the Federal Reserve of New York, as well as parcel companies such as FedEx, DHL and UPS. The Justice Department note makes clear that the subpoenas do not imply that these companies have done something wrong, but rather that information is sought about possible violations of US law by individuals whose identity is unknown.

The Department of Justice describes POLS as a Panamanian law firm that advertises services, including for clients based in the United States, to help conceal ownership of foreign entities and accounts.

Jon Hanna, the firm's lawyer, told La Prensa that they are studying the case and seeing what options there are to cooperate with the investigation.

He said that the fact that a person from another country has not fulfilled their obligations does not make the firm responsible. He also commented that clients are informed about the obligation to report the existence of accounts in Panama or anywhere in the world to the United States tax authorities and with the signature is relieved of any responsibility for not paying their taxes

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