The rise in the voluntary disclosures of offshore assets caught the accounting profession by surprise. The great majority of the accountants were not trained in international tax matters and learned about the existence of FinCEN Form 114 formerly known as TD F 90-22.1 (commonly known as “FBAR”) from their clients.
However, in their ignorance of the matters involved, these accountants simply treated the FBAR disclosure as a regular accounting matter and herded their clients into the IRS voluntary disclosure programs (like 2009 OVDP, 2011 OVDI and 2012 OVDP) without much consideration of complex legal issues involved, without any attempt to analyze the individual facts of each case, and, often, without the understanding of the terms of these official voluntary disclosure matters.
Unfortunately, a lot of individuals ended up paying outrageous Offshore Penalties and unnecessary legal and accounting fees in these programs. Some of these individuals were not even told by their accountants of the consequences of entering into the 2011 OVDI or 2012 OVDP. Still more participants of these programs were not even told about the modified voluntary disclosure alternative (also known as “noisy disclosure” and “reasonable cause disclosure”).
For the individuals who are currently in the 2011 OVDI and 2012 OVDP programs and who have not signed the Closing Agreements, there is still a chance to see if they can escape the unnecessary penalties.
The escape route is known as the “opt-out” of the program. This route should only be taken after you consulted with an experienced international tax attorney who thoroughly analyzed your case; do NOT try to do it on your own, because there is no turning back – once you are out of the OVDI or OVDP, you cannot re-enter the program later.
Contact Sherayzen Law Office to Discuss Your Opt-Out of OVDI/OVDP Options
This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Make sure that you discuss your opt-out options with an experienced international tax attorney before taking any action.
If you are currently in the OVDI or OVDP programs and you would like to understand the consequences of opting-out of the OVDI or OVDP, contact Sherayzen Law Office NOW.
Our experienced international tax firm will thoroughly analyze your case and describe to you the potential consequences of the opt-out of the OVDI or OVDP.
IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations, you are hereby advised that any written tax advice contained in this answer was not written or intended to be used (and cannot be used) by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.