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The next big tax battleground could be art, real estate

According to a report from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, many people may be moving to foreign real estate investments and even investments in artwork and other collectibles as a way of avoiding their tax obligations.

In 2010, the United States passed a law that helped taxing authorities keep closer tabs on offshore accounts and monetary investments. Before the new law, certain individuals could take advantage of foreign privacy laws and thus keep funds out of the view of the Internal Revenue Service, even as they funneled the money back in to the United States.

While it seems that at least one key indicator suggests the new law has cut down on this sort of behavior, many Americans have moved toward different channels that they perceive as tax-savings. By way of example, there has been a greater interest in investing in foreign real estate, as American taxing authorities have a harder time tracking the profits citizens make buying and selling property overseas.

Likewise, art and other collectibles are lucrative tax shelters, particularly because there are some channels in which these items can get traded both duty free and without having to report transactions to the IRS.

Of course, White Plains residents should make sure that they are trying to follow the law and staying above board with their tax reporting. However, as has been seen time and again in the world of criminal and civil tax litigation, authorities often confuse legitimate tax planning with tax evasion or some sort of other unlawful scheme.

People in New York who find themselves in the tangle of an IRS investigation because of offshore investing in real estate, art or the like should strongly consider seeking out professional legal advice and assistance.

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