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San Jose offshore tax attorney OVDPIf it has come to your attention that your tax filings may not be in compliance with U.S. tax laws and regulations, and you may be concerned you could face criminal liability, the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) may provide a means to rectify your noncompliance status. 

About the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

The OVDP applies to tax issues related to unreported offshore income or assets. The OVDP was created for taxpayers who are concerned the IRS will view their conduct as willful or fraudulent. Under the law, a taxpayer’s failure to report offshore financial assets and fully pay the taxes due related to such assets may lead to criminal charges. Allowing for voluntary disclosure once tax returns have been filed is a way a taxpayer may be able to avoid criminal prosecution.

In order to utilize the OVDP, certain requirements must be met and certain procedures must be followed. Several iterations of the OVDP have been in effect over the past few years. The IRS ended one disclosure program on September 28, 2018 and announced new rules that would affect disclosures made after that date.

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California offshore tax attorney, Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, report foreign assets, unreported foreign assets, avoid criminal prosecutionThe IRS will soon be ending its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program for undisclosed foreign assets. Failure to utilize this disclosure program by the date of its termination on September 28, 2018, means that taxpayers who have not reported foreign assets can no longer do so with assurance of avoiding criminal prosecution.

What is the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program?

The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) was developed as a way for taxpayers to come into compliance with fewer legal consequences in situations where the taxpayer had previously not disclosed foreign assets and the income generated on those assets. The OVDP has existed in some iteration since 2009.

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San Jose tax lawyer, Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, OVDP,  undisclosed foreign assets, IRS requirementsU.S. taxpayers who own assets held in foreign countries are required to report the assets to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and pay taxes on income from the assets. For taxpayers who have not met their reporting requirements, the IRS has provided a variety of methods for compliance, including the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). However, the IRS has announced that the OVDP will end September 28, 2018.

Offshore Tax Compliance Options

The current version of the OVDP, which was instituted in 2014, allows taxpayers with undisclosed foreign assets to become compliant with IRS requirements, thus minimizing the civil penalties they are required to pay and avoiding the possibility of criminal prosecution for tax evasion. This program is meant to allow those who have willfully failed to report foreign assets to achieve compliance and pay any taxes that are owed, as well as applicable penalties. 

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undisclosed foreign assets, offshore tax compliance, San Jose tax lawyer, offshore voluntary disclosure program, IRSRecently, we examined the options taxpayers have to achieve compliance when they have undisclosed foreign assets. One key method of compliance that the IRS has provided in recent years is the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The program allows taxpayers to report their offshore assets and become compliant while minimizing their civil penalties and avoiding criminal prosecution. However, the IRS recently announced that it will be ending the OVDP on September 28, 2018.

Changing Options for Offshore Tax Compliance

The OVDP was launched in 2009, and the current version of the program has been in effect since 2014. The IRS has reported that since the OVDP was implemented, more than 56,000 taxpayers have used the program to achieve compliance—$11.1 billion in taxes, penalties, and interest have been paid. However, the number of people participating in the program has declined from a high of 18,000 people in 2011 to 600 in 2017.

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