Do You Owe Taxes On Money You Lost in Your ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.?
U.S. Law: Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
A SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Insight
A Law Passed In 2010 That May Impose Taxes On Money Sent To Scammers!
Updated August 12, 2021
It May Require That You Pay Taxes On Money Scammed From You!
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) 2010 is an initiative of the United States Government to promote tax compliance and uncover tax evasion by its citizens/residents and US-owned (legal) entities.
The Act requires that Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) provide information to the United States Internal Revenue Service on monies received or accounts maintained for citizens/residents of the US outside the U.S.
For Americans who hold assets with foreign institutions, for whatever reason, the tax ramifications are an area of serious concern. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats money held in foreign banks differently than money held in domestic bank accounts. To put it bluntly, they don’t like U.S. citizens having offshore or overseas accounts—mostly out of fear of being unable to take revenue from such accounts—and so they discourage the practice.
Consider This Scenario
A scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. has you send money to them. To hide the money from their local government they open a bank account in your name working with a corrupt banking employee! Yes, this happens all the time! The scammer has control of the account and runs money in and out of it.
Most countries report U.S. account holders to the IRSIRS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue & tax service of the United States federal government responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code (the main body of federal statutory tax law.) It is part of the Department of the Treasury and led by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers; pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings; and overseeing various benefits programs. Visit www.IRS.gov to learn more.. The IRS becomes aware of this and demands that the 30% tax be paid of money that was actually scammed from you. While you can defend yourself on the basis that this was a scam, you have to defend yourself. That involves hiring a tax attorney and dealing with a potentially hostile IRS. This is especially a problem if the crime was not properly reported to law enforcement.
As stipulated by FATCA, a 30% Withholding Tax will be imposed on US-sourced income paid to any FFI if the FFI fails to comply with FATCA or on an account holder that fails to provide information to determine whether or not they are a US taxpayer (such an individual/institution is termed a Recalcitrant account holder). If the 30% is not imposed, the U.S. Citizen or Resident is responsible for that payment to the IRS.
In compliance with this Act, Foreign Financial Institutions are required to provide information to the United States Internal Revenue Service on individual and corporate customers who qualify based on the following criteria:
Corporate Customers, who are:
- Individual shareholders who qualify under the above conditions and with a minimum of 10% shares in companies who execute transactions with a foreign bank
- Corporate organizations incorporated in the United States with a minimum of 10% shareholding in companies execute transactions with a foreign bank.
Individual Customers, who:
- Are US citizens, have a US passport or green card
- Have US place of birth
- Have US residences or mailing address
- Have US telephone numbers
- Have standing instructions to transfer funds to US-based accounts
- Have Power of attorney or signatory authority granted to a person with a US address; or
- Are in care-of or hold mail addresses that are the sole address of account holders
The IRS has indicated that money sent via Western Union or Money Gram may qualify for this withholding. Additionally, money sent for the purpose of evasion of taxes, such as to receive a cash payment from a foreign bank may be considered criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. evasion as well.
If the scammer has access to your U.S. bank account and is moving money in and out through it, this may also triggerTRIGGERS A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience. this plus additional penalties for money launderingMoney laundering Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Money laundering can be done through various mediums, leveraging a variety of payment vehicles, people and institutions..
Additionally, few may know this, but a U.S. citizen or resident that sends money to a foreign criminal entity may also be charged with being an accessory by the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Any U.S. citizen with foreign bank accounts totaling more than $10,000 must declare them to the IRS and the U.S. Treasury, both on income tax returns and on FinCEN Form 114.
- The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires foreign banks to report account numbers, balances, names, addresses, and identification numbers of account holders to the IRS.
- The federal government can bring civil and criminal charges against those who fail to disclose foreign accounts or pay taxes on foreign account assets.
The issue is: What did the scammer do with the money? Did they connect it to you?
As with all such issues, we recommend that you contact a qualified financial professional or attorney to review your situation and help you develop strategies to avoid these issues.
The Long And The Short Of This Is?
Don’t Send Money!
If you did send money report this to the police so you have a legal record of the criminal activity!
We recommend careful record-keeping of your scam so that if there are ever complications, you have the information that you need. SCARS publishes its RED BOOK Scam Information Record Organizer available from the SCARS Store.
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