As an IRS tax attorney, I foresee that 2014 is likely to be a continuation of the global tax enforcement trends that started in the earlier years. Specifically, I believe the following three moves by the IRS will form the core of the US international tax enforcement efforts in 2014.
IRS Tax Attorney Top Trend #1: FATCA IGAs
I believe we will see a continuous efforts by the U.S. government to expand the enforcement scope of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act by increasing the number of Intergovernmental Agreements (“IGAs”). Through the IGAs, the IRS hopes to increase FATCA compliance to the most important tax jurisdictions in the world.
Of course, expanding FATCA compliance to such countries as China, Russia and even India, will continue to present a formidable challenge to the IRS. If IGAs are actually enforced in these countries, it would be a major victory for U.S. enforcement efforts given the sheer number of non-compliant U.S. taxpayers from these countries and their stubborn belief (less so in India than in other countries) that the IRS will not be able to expand FATCA to these countries.
IRS Tax Attorney Top Trend #2: US DOJ Program for Swiss Banks
Undoubtedly, the latest initiative by the US government in the form of the Department of Justice Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks (the “Program”) will occupy the central stage if the attention of any IRS tax attorney who practices in the area of international tax compliance. The Program is a unique, unprecedented effort to apply the lessons from the individual IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP” now closed) that has been running in the United States since 2012 in its current form (and since 2003 in other variations) to foreign banks located in foreign jurisdictions.
As I predicted earlier, it is likely that the Program, if successful, will become the template for similar programs throughout the world. Potentially, it could become a permanent feature in the current arsenal of tax enforcement tools.
IRS Tax Attorney Top Trend #3: OVDP for Non-Compliant US Taxpayers
The latest version of the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program was launched in 2012 on the heels of the success of 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative. I anticipate that this trend will continue into 2014. In combination with the Program, it is likely that an ever increasing number of non-compliant U.S. taxpayers will join the OVDP, especially since they are urged to do so by the Swiss banks without the benefit of analyzing their voluntary disclosure options (something that should be done by an IRS tax attorney who specializes in international tax compliance such as at Sherayzen Law Office).
Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Help with International Tax Compliance
So far, I provided just the top three trends that every IRS tax attorney who practices in the area of international tax law should know. However, even this simplistic overview makes it abundantly clear that international tax compliance is real and you should be worried about it if you have undisclosed foreign assets or income.
Given the complexity of the international tax law and the draconian penalties in case of non-compliance or incorrect compliance, it is very important to choose the right firm to represent your interests. This is why you should contact the IRS tax practice of Sherayzen Law Office who has built a wide range of expertise in the area of international tax compliance.
We offer specialized services for international tax matters to individuals and businesses with foreign income and/or assets. If you are currently in violation of US tax laws, we can help you bring your tax affairs into full compliance in a responsible manner.