What To Do if Youve Been Hit by the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

They’re two of the scariest words in the English language… “tax trouble”. If you land in hot water with the IRS, it can be devastating. And, if you get caught violating the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program, the consequences can be severe.

If you’ve gotten yourself into trouble over this program, here’s what you need to do:

1. Contact an IRS audit attorney

If you’re in a real mess with the IRS, you can’t handle it by yourself. You’ll need an IRS audit attorney to guide you through the process. Among other things, your attorney can negotiate on your behalf and try to get the IRS to agree to an extension or a lesser punishment. But this kind of negotiating can only be done by someone who’s got extensive knowledge and experience.

As an added benefit, an IRS audit attorney can help you understand exactly how you violated the offshore voluntary disclosure program – and make sure that you never break the rules again.

2. Find out how your investments were discovered

If you didn’t adhere to the rules of the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program, the Department of Justice may have figured everything out on its own. That’s because the Justice Department has started pressuring Swiss banks to hand over information about their account holders. Chances are this is how you got caught.

Make no mistake – the word “voluntary” is misleading in this case. You’re required to follow the rules of this program.

3. Dig out your old tax information

If you’re certain that you actually did follow the rules of the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program, your old tax documents may be the only way to verify it.

Plus, the IRS may ask for old documents during its investigation. Under the rules of the offshore voluntary disclosure program, IRS investigators are allowed to look at records from previous years. Unfortunately, if you haven’t been following the rules for years – or don’t have old records on hand – you can get punished for it now.

4. Never underestimate the program again

The IRS is serious about getting taxes on offshore accounts. They have designed the offshore voluntary program in such a way that they can go after every single foreign bank account holder if they want to. There’s even a special IRS investigation unit that was created just for this program! You may be able to dodge them for a little while, but, eventually, they will find you.

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