Ask San Diego OVDP attorney Janathan Allen about the advantages of the IRS OVDP when compared with the streamlined option and not coming into compliance at all, she’s likely to answer with a single word: “RISK!” The IRS OVDP option is the only path a US taxpayer can use to come into compliance with offshore account, asset and income disclosure without facing a genuine risk of exorbitant penalties and even prison time.
Most taxpayers want to opt for the streamlined domestic offshore procedures, lured by the potential for the low 5% penalties offered for “non-willful” conduct. Unfortunately, recent developments at the IRS have brought serious challenges to this path for would-be candidates, including an exhaustive questionnaire that examines everything about the taxpayer from education to investment history, financial experience, travel, intent and purpose behind each offshore account and investment, and all sworn to by the taxpayer under the penalty of perjury. These changes show that the IRS is tightening the reins on this path, raising the bar for those who believe they could perhaps get past the IRS unnoticed.
Legally, the case law that will decide the “willful” versus “non-willful” aspect of this complex international tax issue has yet to be decided. So what is a taxpayer to do?
The OVDP provides the opportunity to avoid risk, make a full and transparent disclosure to the IRS, pay your penalties and move forward with your life. The risk is quantifiable. Perhaps the greatest risk of all is the threat of criminal prosecution for those who do not come into FBAR compliance. The OVDP program relieves the taxpayer of all criminal tax exposure, eliminating the risk of a prison sentence altogether.
San Diego OVDP attorney Janathan Allen works with all US taxpayers to do a candid assessment, under the protections of the attorney-client privilege. The best place to start is a free and substantive consultation at 866-631-3470. Once you know where you stand, the choices going forward become much clearer. Allen Barron clients enjoy the benefit of a greatly enhanced perspective based upon the single-source legal, tax, accounting and international business disciplines.