IRS to End Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

On March 13, 2018, Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter announced September 28, 2018 will be the end of the IRS’s popular Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), saying “Taxpayers have had several years to come into compliance with U.S. tax laws under this program . . . .  All along, we have been clear that we would close the program at the appropriate time, and we have reached that point.”

Originally offered in 2009, the OVDP allowed Taxpayers with previously undisclosed and untaxed foreign assets and income to come back into compliance with their U.S. Tax obligations and avoid criminal prosecution by filing amended tax returns and all necessary disclosures (FBARs, 5471s, 8938s, 3520s, etc.), and paying a set (and reduced) penalty.  Over the years, more than 45,000 Taxpayers have used the OVDP to report their previously undisclosed foreign assets, and the IRS has collected over $11.1 billion in back taxes, penalties and interest.

Since the OVDP’s inception, the Denver tax attorneys at Anderson & Jahde have assisted dozens of clients in coming back into compliance with their foreign asset disclosures and income reporting requirements through the OVDP (and related programs).  While the IRS will continue to accept disclosures through the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures if the Taxpayer can certify their prior failures were not “willful,” many Taxpayers do not neatly fit into this category.  For them, the elimination of the OVDP (open even to those who willfully failed to disclose foreign assets and income) severely limits the options available, and increases the risks of potential criminal prosecution and substantially larger fines and penalties.

If you have undisclosed foreign assets or foreign income call the attorneys at Anderson & Jahde to discuss which option is best suited to your situation before this valuable program ends.

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