For those taxpayers who may still be on the fence about whether to voluntarily disclose offshore assets, the time to decide is now! The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) will close on September 28, 2018.
Since 2009, over 56,000 taxpayers have used one of the IRS' disclosure programs to voluntarily comply with foreign reporting requirements. However, in recent years, advances have been made in third-party reporting and awareness campaigns.
"Taxpayers have had several years to come into compliance with U.S. tax laws under this program," said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. "All along, we have been clear that we would close the program at the appropriate time, and we have reached that point. Those who still wish to come forward have time to do so."
The announcement of the closure of the 2014 OVDP is not an indication of a decreased interest in offshore compliance --- to the contrary, the IRS has stated it intends to continue to use tools such as taxpayer education, whistleblower leads, civil audits, and criminal prosecution to continue to enforce tax laws related to international activities and assets.
"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 Don Fort, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. "Stopping offshore tax noncompliance remains a top priority of the IRS."
Qualifying taxpayers will continue to be able to use the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures to come into compliance with their filing obligations. However, the IRS has indicated that, like the OVDP, they may end the streamlined procedures in the future.
If you have foreign accounts or assets that you need to disclose, contact one of our attorneys today.