On June 18, 2014, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen announced big changes in the IRS offshore account compliance program or more commonly known as OVDP or the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.
Because some taxpayers may have been holding back from entering into the OVDP, the IRS has changed its rules to make it more palatable for taxpayers to come forward and become compliant. In the Commissioner’s words “Our aim is to get people to disclose their accounts, pay the tax they owe and get right with the government”. However, the Commissioner stressed that anyone who continues to willfully and aggressively evade U.S. tax laws by hiding money overseas that they will pay a higher price for that noncompliance. Even with the changes in OVDP, it is still a better deal than the alternative, because if the IRS finds you, you can face higher penalties and, as the record shows, could face criminal prosecution and jail time.
The IRS is continuing its efforts to track down people still out there who are hiding assets overseas. More information on these accounts is coming in to IRS every day. For example, Swiss banks are cooperating through a program put in place last year by the Department of Justice. Just recently the Department Of Justice reached an historic agreement with Credit Suisse. Also, more banks around the world will be coming forward with information on their U.S. customers beginning July 1, 2014. That’s when reporting requirements under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”), go into effect.
It is clear that the days of hiding assets in accounts overseas are coming to an end. There is no reason not to come into compliance.
What Should You Do?
We encourage taxpayers who are concerned about their undisclosed offshore accounts to come in voluntarily before learning that the U.S. is investigating the bank or banks where they hold accounts. By then, it will be too late to avoid the new higher penalties under OVDP of 50% – nearly double the regular 27.5%. This increase could start as early as August 4, 2014.
For anyone who wants to come into compliance but isn’t sure what to do, you should seriously consider participating in the IRS’s 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”). Once the IRS contacts you, you cannot get into this program and would be subject to the maximum penalties (civil and criminal) under the tax law. Taxpayers who hire an experienced tax attorney in Offshore Account Voluntary Disclosures should result in avoiding any pitfalls and gaining the maximum benefits conferred by this program.
Protect yourself from excessive fines and possible jail time. Let the tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and elsewhere in California qualify you for OVDP.
Description: Let the tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. resolve your IRS tax problems, get you in compliance with your FBAR filing obligations, and minimize the chance of any criminal investigation or imposition of civil penalties.