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Tag Archive for OVDP

OVDP And Double Counting: Oh The Agony! – Part II

This is a continuation of Part I. This hypothetical pertains to a taxpayer who has applied to OVDP and who has transferred assets from one foreign account, which was recently closed, to another during the disclosure period.

This is a simple example, yet it illustrates some of the common mistakes that are associated with double counting.

Joe has applied to the OVDP. He had two foreign accounts in 2010: one at Bank A and another at Bank B.

The opening balances in each account were as follows: Read more

Ms. Fournie Shows Fortitude in Fight Against the IRS

Undeclared accounts are the latest bane for Swiss banks, which are being pushed to the brink by U.S. authorities to release details of their U.S. accountholders who park assets there in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Many Swiss banks have what are referred to derogatively as, “recalcitrant accountholders.” Recalcitrant accountholders are those who, despite the bank’s prodding, refuse to report their foreign accounts to the IRS. Very simply, this group is what stands in the way of a “cooperating” bank opening up the kimono – i.e., by sending the U.S. government the records of its U.S. accountholders – and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: immunity from prosecution and overbearing penalties. Soon, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will change all that. If the United States’ demands to expose tax-evaders are fulfilled, all data on these recalcitrant Read more

OVDP And Double Counting: Oh The Agony!

What is this phenomenon known as double counting? Why is it important? If you are shepherding clients through the OVDP program, or you are going through the program yourself, it is critical that you understand what it means and the governing principles behind it. Otherwise, you could be paying an offshore penalty that is exponentially higher than what it ought to be.

This article will explain the principles behind double counting and what type of supporting evidence the taxpayer must produce in order to prove double counting to the satisfaction of the IRS. As is my ordinary practice, I will make use of a hypothetical.

As a refresher, the offshore penalty is determined by isolating the highest aggregate Read more

What Do You Do Next After You’ve Been Pre-accepted Into OVDP?

You’ve submitted your OVDP letter and attachments to the Voluntary Disclosure Coordinator and are reclining in your arm chair watching the “big game” while opening up the day’s mail. The upper left-hand corner of one of the envelopes in your pile is adorned with the IRS’s logo. You open it up. The letter is but a few paragraphs long and as you start glancing at it you breathe a sigh of relief. It says that your disclosure has been preliminarily accepted by CI as timely.

It provides instructions for the second phase: completing and submitting the full voluntary disclosure package to the Austin Campus within 90 days of the date of the timeliness determination (and cooperating with the examiner in resolving all civil liability). You’ve made it this far, but you are uncertain about what is meant by a “full voluntary disclosure Read more

IRS Agents To Hunt Tax Dodgers Overseas

On a recent airplane trip from the Bay Area to Southern California, I sat beside a distinguished-looking elderly man. I initiated a conversation with him and found out he was a former judge now living in Mexico. We talked about everything, including taxation.

The former judge admitted that he was an American citizen and he and some of his friends have problems sleeping because of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). So, I asked him what about Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR), as that was more serious than FATCA. But he had never heard about it. I wondered how many people are like the former judge and his friends who can’t sleep at night because of FATCA and who never heard of FBAR. Read more

IRS Extended A Sweetheart Deal On Valentine’s Day To U.S. Taxpayers With Undisclosed Foreign Bank Accounts

On June 18, 2014, the IRS announced major changes in the 2012 offshore account compliance programs, providing new options to help taxpayers residing in the United States and overseas. The changes are anticipated to provide thousands of people a new avenue to come back into compliance with their tax obligations and would largely waive these penalties if taxpayers come forward and show that they didn’t hide the money on purpose.

Separate from United States income tax returns, many U.S. persons are required to file with the U.S. Treasury a return commonly known as an “FBAR” (or Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts; known as FinCEN Form 114), listing all non-US bank and financial accounts. These forms are required if on any day of any calendar year an Read more

So What’s The New Buzz On Foreign Bank Accounts?

When looking for a picture for this post, I came across this one and remembered my college English Professor. She really loved the term, “Freudian Slip” for some reason! All I knew then was that Sigmund Freud was the father of psychoanalysis but I never quite understood how that related to a Business English class, unless that was the Professor’s way of telling us we were driving her nuts! Now I know that the term, “Freudian Slip” is a “mistake in speech that shows what the speaker is truly thinking” or “to do what one is truly thinking about”.

No, this post is not about defining psychoanalytic terms, dare I say more interesting than tax stuff? Not quite, but this post is about the latest buzz from the Internal Revenue Service, about some situations US taxpayers having foreign accounts might be in and their Read more

Thinking of Hiding Money Abroad? Don’t Be A “Dirty Dog!”

In a recent IR published on January 28, 2015, the IRS said that avoiding taxes by hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on its “annual list of scams known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’ for the 2015 filing season.” The article is quoted below:

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today said avoiding taxes by hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on its annual list of tax scams known as the “Dirty Dozen” for the 2015 filing season.

“The recent string of successful enforcement actions against offshore tax cheats and the financial organizations that help them shows that it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers are best served by coming Read more

Hiding Money Or Income Offshore Among The List Of Tax Scams For The 2015 Filing Season

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was proud to announce that “the recent string of successful enforcement actions against offshore tax cheats and the financial organizations that help them shows that it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore and he encouraged taxpayers to come in voluntarily and getting their taxes and filing requirements in order.”

Since the first Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) opened in 2009, the IRS reports there have been more than 50,000 disclosures and the IRS has collected more than $7 billion from this initiative alone. The IRS also has conducted thousands of offshore-related civil audits that have produced tens of millions of dollars. Finally, the IRS has also pursued criminal charges leading to billions of dollars in criminal fines and Read more

How Do You Know When You’re In Trouble With The Government? When The Name of Your Trust Is “Cappuccino” Spelled Backwards

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York issued a press release on January 20, 2015 announcing the guilty plea of a CEO for hiding over $ 8.4 million in offshore Swiss bank accounts. George Landegger, the Chairman and CEO of an international pulp mill company, pled guilty to willfully failing to file FBARs for accounts that he maintained at a Swiss bank located in Zurich, Switzerland.

Landegger owned these accounts for nearly ten years, from the early 2000s up until 2010. During that time, his undeclared assets reached a high value of over $8.4 million.

What got Mr. Landegger into this “hot mess?” At the most primitive level, Mr. Landegger failed to report numerous Swiss bank accounts that he held for nearly ten years. But like Read more

Sovereign Management In Panama Now Under DOJ/IRS Investigation

Important announcement to U.S. taxpayers that opened offshore bank accounts through a company called Sovereign Management & Legal, Ltd. Based in Panama, the company offers to help Americans open offshore bank accounts with nominee corporations. Knowing that many people who do take these actions are also committing tax evasion, the IRS and Justice Department obtained a John Doe summons from a federal judge. The IRS hopes to find Americans who used Sovereign to open accounts.

Federal Court Approves U.S. Government Issuance Of John Doe Summonses

A Federal Judge recently approved the Internal Revenue Service’s issuance of what is known as a “John Doe” summons to several entities in the U.S who utilized the services Read more

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