Are you still considering whether to take advantage of the current amnesty program? Designed as a way for online sellers to become compliant in states they may have created nexus (either intentionally or inadvertently), the voluntary program provides an opportunity for these businesses to come forward if they haven’t been collecting income, franchise, use or sales tax.
How the Amnesty Program Works
Last month, we updated our readers on an ongoing amnesty program for state taxes that is currently taking effect. As this program could be helpful to sellers utilizing fulfillment marketplaces, we wanted to provide an update on this program so qualified companies can take advantage of the potential benefits of the amnesty.
What exactly is it? Read More
In a recently published Chief Counsel Advice, the IRS chief counsel’s office offered advice to taxpayers participating in its amnesty programs regarding the issue of whether refunds for past overpayments of tax can be used to offset additional taxes or penalties triggered under the program.
Before we get to the advice, let’s first review the amnesty programs that could potentially be affected by the conclusions made in the published advice.
Since announcing its amnesty programs for non-compliant taxpayers, the IRS has received over 45,000 applications from those who wanted to fulfil tax filing obligations. According to the IRS, this meant $6.5 billion in taxes, interest, and penalties. With FATCA and global bank transparency also in action, the IRS is expecting even more mula from the pockets of expats with foreign accounts.
Why are so many U.S. taxpayers willingly complying? Because the new streamlined program is broader than it was back in 2012. The revamped version even eliminates the necessary risk questionnaire and the rule that taxpayers have $1,500 at most of unpaid taxes per year. Even “better” is the fact that taxpayers can provide a non-willful certification to justify their failure to report their foreign assets in the past. If a taxpayer is found eligible: Read More
Hypotheticals Demonstrating When Opting Out is Detrimental To the Taxpayer –
Under what circumstances might opting out of the OVDI be detrimental for the taxpayer? Below are two examples.
Example 3: Large Unreported Gain
Kevin is a U.S. citizen. In 2008, he opened a checking account in Country A with funds upon which U.S. taxes were previously paid. Kevin owned an apartment building in Country A that he sold in 2008. However, Kevin failed to report the gain from the sale of that building on his tax return. Read More