Helping You Understand the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

The U.S. government is cracking down on Americans who have money stored in foreign banks. Here’s what you need to know about the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program:

1. The IRS isn’t kidding when it comes to the offshore voluntary disclosure program

If you think this program is another sea of bureaucratic red tape that really doesn’t mean a whole lot, think again! While it may include the word “voluntary”, there’s really nothing voluntary about this program. Here’s the bottom line – if you don’t report all of your offshore money, you can wind up in jail or paying huge penalties. You can also fall victim to civil judgments and penalties – which don’t have a cap on them.

2. It doesn’t just apply to “high rollers”

You may fall under the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program’s regulations and not even know it! That’s because the program applies to anyone who has more than $10,000 stored in foreign banks. Even if you don’t have $10,000 in your accounts right now, if you did at any point in time during the year, you’ll have to disclose it.

This program is aimed at everyone – not just the people who have millions stored offshore.

3. If you don’t report your investments, the government will still find out

Lots of people think they can skirt the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure regulations because their money is tied up in foreign bank accounts – and think the U.S. government will never be able to figure out how much they really have. If you think this is the case, you could wind up in big trouble!

That’s because the Justice Department has teamed up with the IRS to enforce the offshore voluntary disclosure program. In fact, the Justice Department has already started pressuring Swiss banks to turn over information about their account holders. If your investments haven’t been discovered yet, it’s only a matter of time before they are!

4. A tax lawyer can help with the IRS

Whether you’re in trouble already or are trying to stay out of trouble, a tax lawyer can keep the IRS at bay – at least, better than you can. That’s because good tax lawyers are well-versed on the offshore voluntary disclosure program. A lawyer can tell you how to report everything properly. He can even help you meet all of the IRS’ deadlines. Or, if you’re already in some hot water with the IRS, he can try and negotiate a less severe punishment.

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