IRS Announced End to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program in September 2018

Taxpayers with undisclosed foreign earnings or assets will soon run out of time to share that information with the Internal Revenue Service. The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program was introduced to give taxpayers a way to voluntarily resolve their foreign tax requirements without severe penalty. It was originally introduced in 2012, and it was modified and reintroduced in 2014. Other voluntary programs were also introduced in 2009 and 2011.

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Lawmakers said that the voluntary program will end on Sept. 28 of this year. The IRS is alerting taxpayers about the impending closure so they have time to make any necessary disclosures before the deadline. Lawmakers noted that taxpayers have had many years to make these disclosures under the various voluntary programs, and the intention was always to shutter the programs at “the appropriate time.”

Popular Programming

Since the voluntary disclosure programs have been introduced, they have proven to be very popular. Since 2009, the first year that the program was introduced, more than 56,000 people have come forward to disclose foreign assets, and they paid $11.1 billion in outstanding taxes (as well as in interest and penalties).

2011 was the most popular year for the program. About 18,000 disclosed foreign assets that year, but the number fell off over the years. Last year, only 600 people disclosed assets.

The programs have helped to generate revenue for the IRS, as well as given taxpayers an opportunity to come into compliance with the law without facing prosecution.

Continued Enforcement

Mesa Tax AuditWith or without the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, the IRS has been and will continually be looking for ways to bring taxpayers into compliance for their foreign debts. To start, it is trying to improve education about the tax requirements, as well as about the penalties for not meeting them.

When taxpayers do not comply on their own, the IRS has tools in place to find them out and to prosecute them. It relies on whistleblower leads, and it conducts its own investigations. Since 2009, the same year that the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program was introduced, the IRS has indicted 1,545 taxpayers on charges related to international activities through its Criminal Investigation unit. Of those, 671 were indicted specifically for international criminal tax charges.

Another program, the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures program, is available to help taxpayers learn about and meet their tax obligations. So far, 65,000 people have used the program to help them come into compliance.

In addition to the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures, those who have undisclosed foreign tax obligations can also use the IRS-Criminal Investigation Voluntary Disclosure Program, the delinquent FBAR submission procedures, and the delinquent international information return submission procedures.

Working with an IRS Lawyer

Tax requirements can be confusing. They become more complex when you have a business or investments or when you are working or doing business overseas. The best thing you can do is work with a Mesa tax lawyer and an accountant to better understand your tax obligations and ensure that you are meeting requirements.

If you are behind on your tax obligations, or if you have intentionally tried to evade them by putting business interests or investments overseas, it is critical that you work with an experienced tax law attorney in Mesa. You could face criminal or civil prosecution, which could come with serious penalties and even jail time, depending on the circumstances of your case. But even if you just need to pay back the money, you’ll pay more interest and fees the longer you wait to do it. You aren’t going to outrun the Tax Man – you will be found out eventually! And when you are, you will have serious consequences to face.Notice of amount due

Working with a local IRS lawyer can help you come into compliance while also minimizing any penalties or consequences you may face. Your tax law attorney can walk you through what your obligations are and what the options are for coming into compliance with the minimum of repercussions. If you have already been put on notice by the IRS, your tax lawyer can negotiate on your behalf, while also protecting your interests.

In Arizona, Silver Law PLC can help you understand your options under the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and other methods for meeting your foreign tax reporting obligations. We can help whether you are thinking of making your tax debts right voluntarily or whether you are currently under investigation by the IRS. Our attorneys have experience working as IRS lawyers, so they understand how to represent you to minimize penalty. They may negotiate on your behalf, or they may litigate your case in court. They will explore every option to find the best strategy to result in a minimum of fines and punishment. Our attorneys also provide tax audit representation, help clients with tax collections, and much more. Call us in Arizona to speak with a tax law attorney today.


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Silver Law, PLC

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Las Vegas, NV 89145
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Scottsdale, Arizona 85254
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