Tuesday, May 24, 2011

IRS announces August 31, 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) deadline

U.S. citizens or foreigners who are green-card holders and have never reported that offshore account, corporation or private foundation they control or never bothered to dissolve, now have a second chance to come into the system.

Depending on each individual case, forms which should been filed are :
- Form 1040, Schedule B, Part III – Foreign Accounts and Trusts
- TD F 90-22.1 (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account Information)
- Form 5471 (Information Return of U.S. Person with Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations)
- Form 5472 (Information Return of a 25% Foreign-Owned U.S. Corporation or a Foreign Corporation Engaged in a U.S. Trade or Business).

On February 8, 2011, the Internal Revenue Service announced a special voluntary disclosure initiative designed to bring offshore money back into the U.S. tax system and help people with undisclosed income from hidden offshore accounts get current with their taxes. The new voluntary disclosure initiative will be available through Aug. 31, 2011.
The 2011 initiative has a higher penalty rate than the IRS's previous voluntary disclosure program, which ended on Oct. 15, 2009, but offers clear benefits to encourage taxpayers to disclose foreign accounts now rather than risk IRS detec-tion and possible criminal prosecution. In addition, the 2011 initiative includes new guidelines to provide fairness to people with smaller amounts of undisclosed assets or unusual situations.
A full news release about the 2011 OVDI may be found here: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=235695,00.html?portlet=7. More information, including how to participate, may be found here: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=234900,00.html.

How to Make a Voluntary Disclosure Under the 2011 OVDI

The 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) is offered to those taxpayers with offshore accounts or assets. Please follow the new process outlined below.


Taxpayers or representatives may fax to the IRS Criminal Investigation Lead Development Center at (215) 861-3050 the taxpayers' name, date of birth, social security number and address (if the taxpayer is represented by a tax professional, an executed power of attorney must be included).
IRS Criminal Investigation will then notify taxpayers or their representatives via fax whether or not they have been cleared to make a voluntary disclosure using the Offshore Voluntary Disclosures Letter. Taxpayers or representatives with questions regarding the pre-clearance can call (215) 861-3759 or contact their nearest Criminal Investigation Office.
Note: Pre-clearance does not guarantee a taxpayer acceptance into the 2011 OVDI. Taxpayers must truthfully, timely, and completely comply with all provisions of the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosures Initiative.

Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Letter

If the taxpayer chooses to submit a pre-clearance request, after the taxpayer receives a pre-clearance notification, the taxpayer will have 30 days from receipt of the fax notification to complete the Offshore Voluntary Disclosures Letter. If the taxpayer chooses to bypass the pre-clearance process, the taxpayer must mail the Offshore Voluntary Disclosures Letter to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
Criminal Investigation
ATTN: Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Coordinator
Philadelphia Lead Development Center
600 Arch Street, Room 6406
Philadelphia, PA 19106

The IRS will review the offshore Voluntary Disclosures Letters and notify the taxpayer or representative by mail whether the voluntary disclosure has been preliminarily accepted or declined.

Complete Voluntary Disclosure Package

Once the voluntary disclosure has been preliminarily accepted, the taxpayer should send the full voluntary disclosure package no later than August 31, 2011 to:

Internal Revenue Service
3651 S. I H 35 Stop 4301 AUSC
Austin, TX 78741
ATTN: 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative

Taxpayers wishing to make a voluntary disclosure that is not covered under this offshore initiative should contact their local IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) office to speak with a criminal investigator.

Tax administration questions such as Where is My Refund or Where Do I File can be addressed by other IRS offices.

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