Attention Expats – Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program Opens Again!

The IRS had so much success with the two previous programs; they reopened the offshore voluntary disclosure program for people hiding offshore accounts to get current with their tax obligations on January 9, 2012.

This time, the IRS will keep the program open for an indefinite period. They will announce a closing date when they feel that it has run its course.
The program is designed to allow taxpayers to get into compliance with their US tax obligations. The program is primarily designed to allow taxpayers to report assets being hidden abroad without criminal prosecution.

Unfortunately, the penalties can be very severe. You may face a 27.5 percent penalty, but you may qualify for a 5 percent penalty in some cases. Some smaller offshore accounts could be subject to a reduced 12.5 percent penalty if the offshore accounts or assets did not exceed $75,000 in any calendar year.

There are a large number of taxpayers opting for the “quiet disclosure” approach to getting their tax returns caught up. This group will be opting for examination. If you feel that you do not owe any tax and you do not have assets in excess of $75,000, this could be a good option for you.

As stated by IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman…“As we’ve said all along, people need to come in and get right with us before we find you,” “We are following more leads and the risk for people who do not come in continues to increase.”

The IRS does not regularly impose a penalty if you do not owe any US tax. In any event, no matter which option you choose, you will want to get your tax returns prepared and filed with the IRS. Contact an INTAXACT CPA today to learn just how easy it is to get caught up with your US tax filing. We are here to help!