Where you represent as many taxpayers as we do in relation to cleaning up their previously undeclared offshore investments and bank accounts, your are on the IRS’ website daily to review the current elements required by the IRS to qualify for an OVDP (Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program) filing or an OVDP streamline filing.
You can imagine my surprise when my desktop link to each relevant IRS OVDP page, that I’ve been using for the last 8 years no longer worked.
The IRS has changed its entire website to be more user-friendly, with the goal of allowing individuals to access the IRS’ website and handle their tax liabilities individually like they currently do with their bank account. This is described as IRS Future State. We previously discussed this in our blog post Mid-Year National Tax Advocate’s Report is Wary of IRS’ “Future State.”
According to the IRS “Within our tight budget constraints, the IRS has also continued to analyze and develop plans for improving how the agency can fulfill its mission in the future… In requesting adequate resources to allow the IRS to improve taxpayer service, it is important to point out that our goal is not to fund today’s staff functions at historically high levels.
We need to be, and are, looking forward to a new, improved way of doing business that involves a more robust online taxpayer experience. This is driven, in part, by business imperatives; when it costs between $40 and $60 to interact with a taxpayer in person, and less than $1 to interact online, we must reexamine how we provide the best possible taxpayer experience, in response to taxpayer expectations and demands.
So where can you the Tax Advisor now find the necessary links to determine what the IRS’ current requirements for OVDP filing or an OVDP streamline filing are, as well as the requirements for late filed information return?
Below we have provided the new links to the following replacement pages:
- 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
- Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program Submission Requirements
- How to Make an Offshore Voluntary Disclosure
- Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures
- Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures and
- Delinquent International Information Return Submission Procedures
Remember that the IRS Website nor its FAQs are authority for Request for Waiver of Penalties or other technical Positions taken at IRS Appeals or in Tax Court!
However, as a practice point, you should also remember to print out the current IRS screen describing the procedure which are undertaking for a particular client when making one of the above-mentioned filings. This way you can prove the list of IRS requirements at the time you made the filing, as these requirements are constantly changing, which will allow you to prove that you fulfilled the requirements at the time you filed on behalf of your client.
Do You or Your Client Have Undeclared Foreign Income?
Want to Know if Which OVDP Program is Right for You?
Have another question? Contact Ronald Marini
Your comments are welcome!