Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bellevue Tax Lawyer | The 2012 OVDI, FBAR Amnesty

The IRS has announced the reopening of the OVDI program.  The terms of the program are basically the same as the 2011 program with few key exceptions.  First, the penalty rate for the 2012 program is 27.5% instead of 25%.  The 12.5% and 5% rates are still available if the taxpayer meets the requirements for theses rates.  Second, the program does not have an end date and the IRS can close the initiative at any time.  Third, the IRS can change the penalty rate at any time.

The remaining terms of the new program are the same as the 2011 OVDI as discussed in the link post and summarized below:
  • The penalty is based on the highest aggregate balance for any year in the previous eight year period;
  • The penalty includes the value of any land purchased with non-compliant funds, or that has produced unreported income;
  • The taxpayer has to file new or amended FBARs for all years in question;
  • The taxpayer must file or amend tax returns for all years in question pay interest on the liability and pay a 20% penalty on the tax liability for the previous eight years;
  • Foreign trusts and other entities are included in the initiative.
Taxpayers with reportable foreign accounts that have not entered a program should consider what to do now.  As the IRS continues to increase their efforts to obtain the names of foreign account holders, through agreements or settlements with the banks, the risk of discovery increases.  This program is an opportunity for people the avoid some of the harsh penalties that can result from a regular audit and for the taxpayer to get into and remain in compliance.

If you have any questions please contact me directly or leave a comment.

As with everything related to the IRS, it is difficult to provide comprehensive information related to taxes and tax law on the web.  Please do not rely on this article without consulting a tax professional.