Over almost a decade, OVDP lawyers have seen tens of thousands of taxpayers gain IRS compliance with offshore voluntary disclosures. This powerful program allows people and organizations with willful international tax violations to remedy their situation, pay their unpaid taxes, interest, and fines, and avoid other serious penalties (such as criminal prosecution). However, now that the IRS has announced the end of OVDP, you need to act quickly to avail yourself of the program.
What Is the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP)?
The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) began in 2009 as a way to encourage the compliance of U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed foreign bank accounts and income with the country’s tax laws and regulations. In exchange for voluntary disclosures, the OVDP offers reduced penalties and a way of avoiding criminal charges for tax evasion.
The program has been a huge success. More than 56,000 taxpayers, including U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, foreign nationals, and American and foreign businesses, have used OVDP already. However, if you’re interested in voluntary disclosure, do not delay and contact an OVDP tax attorney immediately.
OVDP is a program that allows you to report your offshore assets, including bank accounts, foreign income, and investments voluntarily. To be eligible, you cannot be the subject of an IRS audit or examination at the time of your voluntary disclosure.
The program also requires a full and detailed disclosure of your offshore income and assets. This involves extensive filings, including FATCA and FBAR submissions. If you’re unsure about this process, it’s always in your best interest to consult with an OVDP tax attorney before you file. The process of voluntarily disclosing your offshore assets is highly technical and detail-oriented. Without guidance from OVDP lawyers, you can easily make mistakes. These mistakes could damage your claim and might even incriminate you — encouraging criminal prosecution and its increased penalties.
What Penalties Are Involved With Voluntary Disclosures?
It’s important to know that the IRS has significant leeway with OVDP and other penalty calculations. While it can waive penalties if you have reasonable cause, the IRS can also assess and collect massive penalties that can result in the complete loss of an offshore bank account’s funds. You might also face a significant prison sentence, the revocation of your passport, and deportation in very serious cases.
When you voluntarily disclose a willful violation of international tax law, you typically must pay a series of fines or penalties. Typically, these penalties range from 20 to 50% of your assets, depending on your circumstances. You’ll also have to submit a full payment of your unpaid taxes and the interest you owe.
To understand your full potential tax liability for undisclosed offshore holdings and income, contact an OVDP tax attorney for guidance. Every taxpayer’s finances and holdings are different. A lawyer can help you evaluate your situation and apply the correct calculations and legal protocols. We can also help you build a comprehensive international tax plan that brings you into compliance.
Do I Really Need an OVDP Tax Attorney?
We understand how tempting it is to hide your offshore accounts and income, but it’s never a good idea. As time passes, the IRS might decide that your situation merits criminal prosecution or an audit. Both of these processes will typically involve much higher penalties than OVDP. When you work with OVDP lawyers, you can rest assured that you have an experienced team guiding your voluntary disclosures and negotiating with the IRS on your behalf.
You should look for an OVDP tax attorney with significant experience, including years of focused international tax practice, specialized training (such as an LLM degree), and licensure in U.S. tax courts. These issues require someone with a deft hand and extensive knowledge about international tax law and the OVDP process. A single mistake could jeopardize your disclosures and open you up to criminal penalties.
For example, you typically cannot use the popular Streamlined Disclosures program if you made even one willful violation of international tax law. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting taxpayers file under the Streamlined program. They do this hoping to avoid penalties and the more intense disclosure process of OVDP. When the IRS rejects their Streamlined Disclosures, they cannot file under the OVDP. This opens them up to increased enforcement penalties and criminal prosecution. Rather than take this risk, wouldn’t you rather work alongside an experienced OVDP tax attorney?
You Need to Act Quickly to Use the OVDP
In March 2018, the IRS announced that it is ending the OVDP, due to decreased use of the program. The program will close on September 28, 2018. If you have willful international tax non-disclosures that you want to correct voluntarily through OVDP, you need to act quickly. Otherwise, this option will be unavailable to you.
It’s also important to note that OVDP isn’t always your best option, and other offshore disclosure options will continue to exist after September 2018. This includes Streamlined Voluntary Disclosures. While time is of the essence, it’s in your best interest to consult with an OVDP tax attorney before you submit a last-minute OVDP filing. The OVDP lawyers at Randall & Associates can help you assess your offshore holdings and potential liabilities and build a custom plan that meets your goals and helps you remedy your IRS noncompliance.
You should also note that the ending of OVDP doesn’t mean that the IRS is going to stop enforcement actions for willful violations of international and offshore tax laws. In fact, the agency continues to ramp up its auditing and enforcement procedures. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to schedule an appointment with a seasoned OVDP tax attorney today.
Consult With an OVDP Tax Attorney
The OVDP lawyers at Randall & Associates provide their clients with comprehensive international tax services and solutions. We work closely with our clients, taking the time needed to understand their unique situations and goals. Together, we’ll build a compliance and dispute resolution plan that might help you avoid IRS penalties and enforcement actions. We also handle international tax litigation issues. To schedule a complimentary and confidential evaluation, contact us today.