The OVDP Preclearance Request is a very important document that is required to be filed in order to commence a US taxpayer’s voluntary disclosure under the 2014 IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (2014 OVDP) which is still in existence at the time of this writing. This is why it is important to understand what actually needs to be included in the OVDP Preclearance Request.
FAQ 23 of the 2014 OVDP details three major requirements for the OVDP Preclearance Request. First, the OVDP Preclearance Request must include the identifying information of the applicant(s), including complete name(s), date(s) of birth, tax identification number(s), address (or adresses), and telephone number(s).
Second, the OVDP Preclearance Request should include the identifying information of all financial institutions at which undisclosed OVDP assets were held during the voluntary disclosure period. The “identifying information” includes complete names of the foreign institutions (including all DBAs and pseudonyms), addresses, and telephone numbers.
It is up to your international tax lawyer to determine the OVDP assets and the voluntary disclosure period prior to filing the OVDP Preclearance Request.
Finally, the OVDP Preclearance Request should include the identifying information of all foreign and domestic business entities (e.g., corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, foundations, et cetera) and trusts through which the undisclosed OVDP assets (again, this is the determination that needs to be made by your international tax lawyer) were held by the applicant.
Note that this request does not include the entities that are traded on a public stock exchange in the United States or overseas.
This information should be supplied for the entities that were in existence during any period of time during the Voluntary Disclosure Period, including any entities that were dissolved. The determination of the Voluntary Disclosure Period should be done by your international tax lawyer.
The identifying information that should be included in your OVDP Preclearance Request with respect to entities includes: complete names (including all DBAs and pseudonyms), employer identification numbers (if applicable), addresses, and the jurisdiction in which the entities were organized.
The OVDP Preclearance Requests should be accompanied by an executed Form 2848 (IRS Power of Attorney form) if the applicant is represented. I strongly advise that you retain an experienced international tax lawyer to conduct your voluntary disclosure process.
Note that, if your case involves jointly-filed US tax returns, the OVDP Preclearance Request should be prepared for both spouses.
Once the OVDP Preclearance Request is faxed to the IRS, the IRS-CI (Criminal Investigation) may take up to 30 days to notify the applicant’s representative (or the applicant himself (or herself), if the applicant is not represented). In my experience, if the IRS-CI is not busy, it will usually respond within a few weeks, but it can take the whole month. However, there are instances (like the August of 2014 deadline for US taxpayers to secure the 27.5% penalty, instead of 50%) when the IRS-CI is overwhelmed and it can take even a couple of months for them to make the decision on your OVDP Preclearance Request.
Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Experienced and Professional Help With the Voluntary Disclosure of Your Foreign Assets and Foreign Income
If you have undisclosed foreign accounts and you are considering entering the OVDP, you should contact the experienced voluntary disclosure team of Sherayzen Law Office, PLLC. We will handle your entire case, including all legal and accounting documentation (including the preparation of amended tax returns and FBARs). We have helped hundreds of US taxpayers worldwide and we can help you!