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Farewell to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program: The IRS Pulls the Plug

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Riddle: What do GEOFFREY GIRAFFE’S Gift Cards & the TAX AMNESTY/OVDP have in common?

Answer: Very soon, they will both be GONE!

That’s right. Just like the indomitable Toys “R” Us toy store chain is closing, despite several attempts to reorganize, the Treasury has decided to close the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”), even after repeated warnings of its ultimate demise. The big-box retailer, however, will become a fond memory well before the OVDP sunsets.

In spite of its many iterations since 2009 and the 56,000 new taxpayers with their $11 billion added to Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) coffers, on September 28, 2018, the Service believes OVDP will no longer be necessary. Other resources like the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) will suffice for ongoing enforcement, the IRS rationalizes.

Presumably, an application to enroll with OVDP by September 28 will be sufficient for participation, but the release was thin on those specific details.

A parallel program to OVDP, greatly expanded in 2014 -- the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures -- will continue for now. The release warns this program may also end at some point. However, Streamlined Procedures requires a taxpayer to overcome the presumption of “willfulness” while correcting prior filing compliance issues. Answers such as I didn’t know, it’s all so confusing, and my accountant didn’t tell me won’t work. Streamlined Filing requires the crafting of plausible facts and circumstances woven together by skilled and knowledgeable advisors.

That is where Marcum can help. Our team of experienced professionals has filed hundreds of OVDP and Streamlined Procedures with the IRS, with proven results.

So if you have undeclared foreign source income; or have bank accounts, brokerage accounts or even just signatory authority, not previously reported on information returns (“FBAR”), this will be your very last opportunity to come clean with your Uncle Sam.

We know what keeps you up at night. Here is your official last chance to put it all behind you and become compliant at amnesty-structured penalty rates!

Should you have any questions relating to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, contact your Marcum tax advisor while there is still time.

 
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Jeffrey Saltzer, Partner, Tax & Business

Partner
Tax & Business
New York, NY
 
 
 
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