Offshore Account Holders Outed

The latest estimates show the state of Connecticut is facing a $513 million budget deficit for the Fiscal Year 2010 and the state plans to crack down on people who secretly stored their money offshore to close some of the gap.

At least 148 Connecticut taxpayers volunteered information that they used offshore accounts with Swiss banking giant UBS to evade taxes, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said on Monday.

"This voluntary disclosure program potentially provides millions in badly needed revenue to the state," Blumenthal said. "Nearly 150 offshore UBS account holders wisely stepped forward to acknowledge money owed to the state, and we urge all to do the same."

Blumenthal launched an investigation last year to figure out how many Connecticut residents were among the 4,450 U.S. citizens siphoning money to offshore UBS accounts and evading federal and state taxes.

He’s been working with the U.S. Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service to get names of account holders that UBS has provided to federal authorities.

The information will eventually be shared with state officials, exposing state tax evaders to significant penalties.

"Our investigation will ultimately and inevitably identify all tax evaders who secretly hid money in offshore UBS accounts, shortchanging hard-working Connecticut taxpayers," Blumenthal said. "Identification of these wealthy taxpayers is inevitable and unavoidable."

At least 148 Connecticut residents have stepped forward, enabling the state to recover tax revenue.

The voluntary program expired on Jan. 15, but Blumenthal urged additional account holders to come forward to avoid facing potentially more serious and inevitable penalties after federal authorities disclose all account holders.

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