In Search of Tax Cheats, IRS Turns to Bank SARs

By Colby Adams and Brian Monroe

U.S. investigators are increasingly relying on suspicious activity reports filed by depository institutions in their efforts to find tax evaders who hide their assets in foreign bank accounts. While the majority of regulatory suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by financial institutions point to possible fraud, structuring, money laundering and other Bank Secrecy Act violations, reports of tax evasion seem to be on the rise, anecdotally, according to Kenneth Rubinstein, a financial attorney with New York-based Rubinstein and Rubinstein LLP. The percentage of depository financial institutions identifying "other" as a crime in SARs rose from 11 percent in 2008 to 14...