Here’s why you need to know about the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program. You may be worried about getting into trouble with the IRS. Perhaps you have protected your assets a little too well, putting them in shell corporations and investments in foreign countries. Perhaps in the process, you were overzealous and ended up violating U.S. tax law.
Now, you’re seeing other people in similar positions who are being caught by the IRS and severely punished, paying enormous fines and even spending time in jail. You know that you could be next, but you don’t know what to do to protect yourself. Fortunately, the Offshore Voluntary disclosure program is your way out of this tricky situation.
The Information Age
The IRS created the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program several years ago in the hopes of repairing the longstanding problem of delinquent taxpayers who have offshore investments. For decades, thousands of clever businesspeople managed to conceal their assets from U.S. taxation by placing them in holdings, corporations, and investments overseas. While this behaviour was illegal, it was difficult for the IRS to catch very many of these delinquent taxpayers, making this strategy relatively low-risk.
The twenty-first century changed everything, though, bringing powerful information technology to the IRS that made it possible to finally catch the large number of delinquent taxpayers. However, it was still a lot of work to prosecute all of these delinquent taxpayers, so the IRS decided to create the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.
You Can Save Yourself
The basic idea of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure program is that it allows people to turn themselves in, in exchange for amnesty from criminal persecution. If you choose the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, you will pay a penalty on your foreign assets, but you will no longer have to worry about significant fines or imprisonment.
The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program is a win-win: it makes the job of the IRS easier by encouraging more people to come into compliance with U.S. tax code; at the same time, it makes your life easier since you no longer have to fear the IRS and the potential consequences of your actions.
Time Is Running Out
The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program won’t be an option forever. First of all, it is only available to people who are not yet under criminal investigation by the IRS. Eventually, the IRS will find your foreign assets, and it will be too late for you to take advantage of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.
Furthermore, the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program is only available as long as the IRS wants it to be. If they decide that it has served its purpose, they can end the program without warning. If you have been considering using the program but have put it off, you should make a decision sooner rather than later—before the IRS takes that decision away.
Consult an Expert
You should never make decisions as big as the one to participate in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program alone. Consult tax experts about what the costs and benefits of the program are so that you can do what’s best for your money.
Esquire Group, a boutique international tax advisory firm specializing in tax consulting, tax planning and compliance and helping corporate and individual taxpayers with Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program ( Esquiregroup.Com/Offshore-voluntary-disclosure-program ), asset protection, and US expat taxes. To learn more about us, visit Esquiregroup.Com/About.