Tax amnesty

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is currently operating an Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). This program is structured similarly to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) offered in 2009 and the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) offered in 2011. The program allows U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed interests in foreign financial accounts to come into full tax compliance.

When entered into the program, taxpayers agree to file amended tax returns and Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), for a “look-back period” of up to eight previous tax years, pay all applicable taxes with a 20 percent accuracy-related penalty on such tax plus interest, and pay an “offshore-related” penalty of 27.5 percent of the highest foreign account balance/asset value that existed during the look-back period.

When a taxpayer truthfully, timely, and completely complies with the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, the IRS will not recommend criminal prosecution to the Department of Justice. Furthermore, taxpayers who do not submit a voluntary disclosure run the risk of detection by the IRS and the imposition of substantial penalties, including the civil fraud penalty and foreign information return penalties.

Unlike the 2009 OVDP and the 2011 OVDI, there is no set deadline for taxpayers to apply to the 2012 OVDP. However, the terms of this program could change at any time going forward. Furthermore, the program could end at any time.

Speak With Our International Tax Amnesty Lawyers

To learn more about tax amnesty options, speak with a lawyer at our firm today. We offer free initial consultations. Call us today 1-844-452-41-65.

Offshore voluntary disclosure initiative (OVDI)

Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyers

If you are one of the few Americans who have more than $10,000 tucked away in one or more foreign bank accounts that have previously been undisclosed to the IRS, then the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program is your safety net. By entering into the OVDI program, not only you come into compliance with the U.S. government but you could avoid any criminal tax fraud charges as well as minimize any chance of penalties.

If you have an offshore banking account that you need to disclose to the IRS, contact the Houston OVDI attorneys at Pro Tax Counsel. We can assist you with entering into the program and make sure you are not penalized for stepping forward.

What is the OVDI program?

The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative, or OVDI for short, is a program created by the IRS that allows U.S. taxpayers with any unreported foreign bank accounts the opportunity to claim these accounts in exchange for reduced IRS penalties and eliminating the possibility of any tax fraud charges. Essentially, OVDI is a tax amnesty program – by coming forward with your bank accounts, you will finally be in compliance with the current U.S. tax laws. Instead of worrying about the IRS finding these bank accounts, by entering into the program, the IRS will no longer try to come after you for unpaid taxes on your foreign bank accounts.

Why Should You Enter OVDI?

Besides becoming compliant with current tax laws, by entering OVDI means that you will not be severely punished. For instance, if you have $1 million in overseas accounts yet did disclose these accounts, you could receive a penalty triple of how much you actually have in the accounts. That’s a $3 million tax bill you would be looking at. But, entering into OVDI, the penalties would be no more than 50 percent of the highest balance that was in your account at the time you failed to report them. Although that is still a steep fine to pay, it’s much better than the alternative. For more information, check out our common FAQs on OVDI.

  Need Help? Don’t Wait!

Do you need help with OVDI? Then don’t wait much longer. Contact the Houston tax attorneys at Pro Tax Counsel today for a free consultation 1-844-452-41-65. We will advise you on your best options on dealing with the IRS.

International tax gap

International Tax Gap Attorneys in Houston

The Internal Revenue Service has increased its monitoring and investigative reach in regard to offshore bank accounts and assets. Under new laws, calculations regarding disclosure of overseas accounts are now more stringent than ever. Recently, more and more international financial institutions and banks have agreed to provide client lists to the IRS after the IRS successfully sued Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) for its list of American clients. Here, it is the nondisclosure of an overseas bank account that is illegal, not the fact that you have one.

Currently, if you have more than $10,000 in an overseas account, you are required to declare it on an annual information return, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), even if you don’t owe any taxes on it. If you have an overseas bank account and have not disclosed it to the IRS by filing an FBAR — even if it contains less than $10,000 — if the IRS find out about it, they will likely assume you have a criminal motive for not declaring it. If you have substantial assets in overseas bank accounts, the financial and criminal penalties can be significant, including prison.

If you are an investor, owner of a small business, or an entrepreneur with money in undeclared overseas bank accounts, it’s important to contact an experienced tax lawyer who can explain what your options are and help you avoid unwanted legal complications. To discuss your case during a free, confidential consultation, contact our international tax attorneys at the Pro Tax Counsel today. We are based in Houston and have satellite offices in Seattle and Mexico.

Approaching the IRS Before They Approach You

In 2009, the IRS instituted a one-time amnesty period, allowing taxpayers having unreported foreign income or bank accounts to come forward under the auspices of a formal Voluntary Disclosure Program. Though this amnesty period expired on October 15, 2009, there are still options available to taxpayers who are not in compliance and wish to come forward voluntarily. For more information, see our page on tax amnesty.

In most cases, the IRS is willing to forego prosecution and criminal charges when a person approaches them first to report undisclosed bank accounts. In the case of small- or medium-sized businesses, the IRS will likely conduct an audit to determine how much money was unreported and how much interest is involved. Typically, back taxes and interest are assessed and a penalty paid as well. In most cases where someone steps forward and cooperates, they can avoid being sent to jail or prison.

Our tax compliance attorneys help clients cooperate with the IRS in order to avoid harsher penalties and prison time.

Avoiding Obstruction of Justice Charges

Destroying, removing, or withholding records and other information that is material evidence in an investigation constitute obstruction of justice. If you are under investigation or are in the process of cooperating with the IRS, it’s essential that you understand what you are required to do in order to cooperate with the authorities. Our attorneys can help you avoid obstruction charges while taking steps to help you avoid self-incrimination. Here, when disclosing international bank accounts before the IRS finds out about them on their own, providing pertinent financial information without disclosing what is unnecessary is key.

Contact International Tax Gap Attorneys at the Pro Tax Counsel

The international tax gap can be a source of significant legal trouble for individual investors and small businesses. To ensure you are in compliance with existing law or to step forward to avoid additional legal complications, contact U.S. tax law compliance attorneys at the Pro Tax Counsel today. Call us 1-844-452-41-65