One of the most significant changes introduced by the 2014 update to the voluntary disclosure structure is the unprecedented introduction of the streamlined voluntary disclosure option to the U.S. taxpayers who reside in the United States – the so called, Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures. The introduction of the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures means that the IRS finally recognized that there is a very large number of U.S. taxpayers who were non-willful with respect to their inability to comply with numerous obscure complex requirements of U.S. tax laws. They now have a new official option to deal with their situation.
Since the new option of the participation in the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures is somewhat important to the voluntary disclosure, I would like to focus this short article on the general eligibility requirements for the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures.
There are three eligibility requirements that must be met in order be able to utilize the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures. First, the taxpayer must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. lawful permanent resident, or he must have met the substantial presence test.
The substantial presence test is outlined in 26 U.S.C. 7701(b)(3). Under 26 U.S.C. §7701(b)(3), an individual meets the substantial presence test if the sum of the number of days on which such individual was present in the United States during the current year and the 2 preceding calendar years (when multiplied by the applicable multiplier) equals or exceeds 183 days.
The second requirement is critical to the participation in the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures – taxpayer’s violations of the applicable U.S. tax requirements must be non-willful. The failures to report the income from a foreign financial asset, pay tax as required by U.S. law, file an FBAR (FinCEN Form 114, previously Form TD F 90-22.1) with respect to a foreign financial account, and file other international information returns (such as Forms 3520, 3520-A, 5471, 5472, 8938, 926, and 8621) should have been non-willful. If the failure to file the FBAR and any other information returns was willful, the participation in the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures is not likely to be possible.
Finally, the third eligibility requirement for the participation in the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedure is that the participating taxpayer is not subject to an IRS civil examination or an IRS criminal investigation, irrespective of the examination is related to undisclosed foreign financial assets or involves any of the years subject to the voluntary disclosure. In either case, the taxpayer will not be eligible to use the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedure.
Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Legal Help With Your Offshore Voluntary Disclosure
If you have undisclosed foreign accounts or any other offshore assets, contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional legal help. Our experienced international tax law firm will thoroughly analyze your case, estimate your current FBAR penalty exposure, and determine your eligibility for the available voluntary disclosure options, including the 2014 OVDP, Streamlined procedures and the Modified Voluntary Disclosure.