IRS to end offshore voluntary disclosure program; Taxpayers with undisclosed foreign assets urged to come forward now

The IRS announced on March 13, 2018 that they will close the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program ("OVDP") as of September 28, 2018. The announcement was made on IR-2018-52.

The IRS also released updated statistics regarding the OVDP, providing that since the OVDP’s initial launch in 2009, more than 56,000 taxpayers have used one of the programs to comply voluntarily. All told, those taxpayers paid a total of $11.1 billion in back taxes, interest and penalties.

The IRS further provided additional warning to taxpayers with foreign bank accounts and foreign financial accounts that have not been properly reported within the United States, whether via the FBAR (Fincin 114), Form 8928, Form 5471, or otherwise. Specifically, the IRS provides “The IRS remains actively engaged in ferreting out the identities of those with undisclosed foreign accounts with the use of information resources and increased data analytics,” said Don Fort, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Stopping offshore tax noncompliance remains a top priority of the IRS.”

For taxpayers, some good news remains. The IRS has stated it will continue to allow the following disclosure programs: 

However, the IRS does go on to state that the Streamline program and other programs may have an end date at some point as well. 

The IRS urges taxpayers with foreign accounts to come forward now. Taxpayers will be wise to accept this advice.  FATCA information  been flowing into the IRS.  The time for taxpayers to discuss unreported foreign bank accounts with an international tax attorney is now. 

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