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Sep 17, 2015

Chairman Giuseppe says IRS Summons Has Nothing to Do with Belize Bank

The United States Treasury is tightening the noose on US citizens who hold accounts overseas and have not paid up taxes in the US. Essentially, a US Federal Judge today issued an order to allow the IRS to serve what it calls “John Doe Summons” to compel Citibank and Bank of America to provide information on US taxpayers with accounts at certain banks in Belize, including correspondent accounts. These transactions invariably leave behind a paper trail that the IRS can follow to step up collection of taxes from negligent citizens.  Earlier today, we asked Lyndon Giuseppe, Chairman of the Belize Bank to explain. 

 

Lyndon Guisseppe

Lyndon Guisseppe, Chairman, Belize Bank Ltd.

“The John Doe Summons, which you mentioned on Forbes, is a summons that the U.S. government brought against two U.S. banks, Bank of America and Citibank, both of which form correspondent banks of Belize Bank.  The summons requires those individuals to provide any information which they may have on U.S. citizens who may  have had accounts either with the Belize Bank or Belize Bank International and which would have utilized the services of Bank of America and Citibank North America.  This is not a summons involving the Belize Bank or Belize Bank International.  In fact, neither the Belize Bank nor Belize Bank International are party to that particular summons.  We are separate and apart from this.  The Belize Bank is actually fully compliant with its reporting requirements and FACTA.  I don’t know if you are fully aware what FACTA is?  In June 2014, the U.S. government introduced legislation which requires all banks, not just banks in Belize but banks in every country in the world to provide to the U.S. IRS information on a quarterly basis with respect to any individual whether that individual be a company or an actual person who may have U.S… to the U.S. IRS.  The Belize Bank, and I believe every single bank in Belize, is fully compliant with FACTA; in other words, we have been providing the U.S. with the requisite information.  The U.S. IRS under that agreement has the prerogative to contact us directly and to ask for clarification or additional information which they so desire.  They have not done so, so I want to make it abundantly clear that this matter has absolutely nothing to do with the Belize Bank or Belize Bank International.  It is a matter completely between the U.S. government at this stage and two U.S. banks, Bank of America and Citibank North America.”

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