The IRS is ending its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), which means that the last chance to take advantage of this hugely beneficial amnesty program is rapidly approaching.
The IRS recently announced that it will close the 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) effective September 28, 2018. As you may know, the OVDP allows taxpayers to voluntarily come forward and disclose unreported foreign financial assets in order to avoid civil and criminal prosecution. All taxpayers seeking to take advantage of the OVDP must submit complete disclosures by the September 28, 2018, closing date.
According to the IRS, since the OVDP first launched in 2009, more than 56,000 taxpayers have used the OVDP to resolve past non-compliance related to unreported foreign financial assets. Although the IRS is closing the OVDP, it will continue to use tools besides voluntary disclosure to combat offshore tax avoidance (including third-party reporting, civil examinations, and criminal prosecution).
“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 IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Don Fort. “Stopping offshore tax non-compliance remains a top priority of the IRS.”
It is important to note that a separate program named Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures will remain open for eligible taxpayers. The Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures is intended for taxpayers who are not worried about criminal prosecution because, say, they were not aware of the obligation to report foreign financial assets. However, as with the OVDP, the IRS has said it may end the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures at some point.
To those considering whether you are a good candidate for the OVDP program, it is critical that you consult with a competent and experienced international tax attorney, as a partial or incomplete OVDP submission cannot be cured after the September 28, 2018, closing date.
With the closing of the program, there is essentially only this one opportunity to make the proper disclosure. Mr. Abajian, former IRS senior trial attorney, has assisted a significant number of clients in successfully making disclosures of offshore assets over the course of more than a decade. If this news affects you, the time to act is right now: please contact us for a detailed consultation to determine the best course of action. Mr. Abajian is a Los Angeles based Tax Attorney that has assisted clients from all over the world, and he can help you take advantage of OVDP before it’s too late.