We recently had a client that we were successfully able to shift from the regular IRS OVDP program to the streamlined domestic offshore procedures resulting in a substantial savings (and a very happy client). The key to the IRS Streamlined Domestic Filing Procedures is “non-willful” conduct. The streamlined program is a declaration by the taxpayer that the amounts that were under-reported and account information left off of previous year’s FBARs was not due to a “willful” attempt to evade paying taxes, but a non-willful oversight. In this case we had a person from another country for whom English was a second language, and of course this person was not aware of all IRS regulations. We had already provided all of the information to the IRS, and shifting them to the streamlined program simply allowed us to shield her from additional penalties and interest.
The calculation of this client’s total bill to the IRS under the OVDP program was over $127,000, and through the streamlined option we were able to work her total obligation down to around $4,200. As experienced and seasoned tax attorneys, we are able to assess our client’s financial information, transactions and previous filings to determine the best course of action. It is the right of the taxpayer to assert non-willful conduct, but it is up to the IRS to make their own determination as to whether they agree with that assertion and ultimately approve a streamlined application. If you have concerns relating to offshore investments and accounts and FBARs we invite you to contact Allen Barron for a free consultation at 866-631-3470.