A Death Knell On the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program? What To Expect?

Picture Courtesy: www.pixabay.com, Italy. 
Hello everyone, I am back! The 2018 Tax Season was definitely one for the books, a series of challenges with Tax Reform and retroactive changes affecting 2017 taxes; and trying the impossible-tax planning for 2018 without guidance from the Internal Revenue Service! Guidance has been trickling in since but most of us are still waiting! 

In the midst of all the chaos that was, the Internal Revenue Service put an end to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or OVDP for short, via IR-2018-52. If you remember, the OVDP was first introduced in 2009, then there were more modified versions put forth in 2011, 2012 and 2014. I wrote in detail about the OVDP in 2013, we can go back and look at it here

Closure of the OVDP in 2018: The 2014 OVDP is going to close effective September 28th, 2018. If you would like to take part in the OVDP program, your submission should be received or post-marked by September 28th, 2018 and must be complete. The submissions may not be partial/ incomplete/ or serve as place-holders. 

The Internal Revenue Service replies "No" in answer to the question, "Does the closing of the 2014 OVDP signal a change in IRS priorities towards offshore tax noncompliance?" A growing network of inter-governmental agreements with many countries, automatic compliance by financial companies under FATCA or the Foreign Account and Tax Compliance Act, the DOJ's Swiss Bank program etc has ensured that it is getting more and more difficult to evade taxation by stashing money off-shore. 

The Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures will continue to remain open after September 28th, 2018. Those who can declare under penalties of perjury that their conduct was non-willful can participate in the Streamlined Filing Procedure. This procedure is available to both citizens living within the USA and abroad although the filing thresholds may vary.

All other Delinquent FBAR Filing Procedures are still available to eligible taxpayers even after September 28th, 2018. More about this process is in my blog post here

If you have undeclared foreign bank accounts and will qualify to be a candidate, you still have time (around four months from the time this article is published) to contact a tax professional with the expertise to help you through the program. 

If you would like to give your feed-back or have suggestions about a future voluntary disclosure program to the Internal Revenue Service, I believe their email address is lbi.practice.unit.public.feedback@irs.gov. Make sure your subject line reads “Suggestion for voluntary disclosure practice after OVDP closes.”


As always, read my disclaimer here. Please consult a qualified tax professional for your unique tax needs. More of my contact information is on my website, www.mntaxbiz.com


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