Your Role in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been initiating tighter controls over offshore accounts. No more are these locations the way to avoid paying taxes. As the IRS begins cracking down, they are giving everyone that holds an offshore bank account or investment portfolio a chance to avoid severe repercussions through the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program. Now, you have to know what this means for you.
What is the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program?
The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program is an initiative the IRS began to help ease the pain of paying taxes for anyone who has offshore accounts. Over the years, many people have looked to foreign countries this for a variety of reasons:
- Good investment rates
- Hiding money
- Protecting assets
- Avoiding taxes
It was the avoiding of taxes and the hiding of money and assets that caused the IRS to begin looking closer at these foreign accounts.
Yet, when you go after those that are putting their assets outside the United States and are making money doing so, you also crack down on those that legitimately invested and those that used foreign accounts to protect their assets. The ones that were performing noble or straightforward business deals got caught up in the IRS search net with the ones that were using these offshore accounts to hide and skip out on paying their taxes.
As a result, the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program was created to allow anyone who has any offshore accounts to come forward on their own to report the information and pay the appropriate taxes. The results would be less penalties and no criminal charges against them for tax evasion. Working with the IRS would be less painful than working against them.
Does the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program Affect You?
The answer to this is very simple. If you have any investments or bank accounts located in any place outside the United States, then you fall under the search net of the IRS. At this point, you have two choices:
- Keep silent , or
- Participate in the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
The first one might seem the easy way out, but the results could be disastrous. Penalties and jail time could be what you are facing. Choosing the second option is the smarter route to take.
How to Participate in the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
- Gather all your offshore account information
- Fill out the appropriate IRS forms that can be found on their website
- Fully participate in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
- Sign the voluntary disclosure agreement
- Pay penalties and taxes
Potential Problems You Might Face With the IRS
If you are one of the people with an offshore account and you do not participate in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, you could be faced with some tough times with the IRS.
- You can’t participate in the voluntary disclosure program after the IRS has begun to examine your status and accounts. You get one shot to file your forms by a specified date. Failure to do this places you in the non-voluntary category.
- Hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines could be part of your problems. After examination of your accounts, fees and penalties are accessed. These will be considerably higher than they would have been if you had gone forward with the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.
- Criminal charges can be made against anyone who does not work with the IRS’s voluntary disclosure program. At least five years of your life could be spent behind bars.
Getting Help with the Voluntary Disclosure Program
It is never fun dealing with the IRS. All the paperwork, terminology, and fear that accompanies facing them makes the whole experience not only unpleasant but very difficult. You should never have to face this kind of situation alone. Especially if you feel that excessive fees and penalties are being levied. That is where we come in at Tax Relief Debt.com.
- Free Consultation – Most people don’t realize that they have a case or that there can be help for them to get them through this time with the IRS. If you are unsure if you should participate in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or if you have found yourself in a sticky situation with an IRS examination of your accounts, then you can call us for a free consultation.
- Experience – Our advisors are not temporary employees who have been given crash courses in offshore tax facts. We have tax experts who know the ins and outs of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and have experience dealing with the IRS.
The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program is not there to attack you in anyway. It was created to give legitimate accounts the chance to avoid high penalties and criminal charges.