2018 ABA COMMENTS ON THE OFFSHORE VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE PROGRAM AND THE STREAMLINED PROGRAMS

- By : P. Patel

We are members of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, which on May 2, 2018 submitted comments to the IRS on the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”), the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Program (“SDOP”), and the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Program (“SFOP”). We co-authored the ABA comments. The comments are very constructive. It is hoped that the

New FBAR Court Case Makes it Easier for Taxpayers to be Deemed Willful

- By : P. Patel

There is a debate as to the “burden of proof” that must be met by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in asserting that an FBAR violation was “willful”.  This is significant because those who willfully fail to file the required FBAR on a timely basis, can be assessed a penalty of up to the greater

IRS reminds those with foreign assets about U.S. tax obligations

- By : P. Patel

The IRS again reminded taxpayers yesterday about their reporting obligations for foreign assets and income. The reminder again represents the IRS’ targeted enforcement of tax laws for reporting obligations for foreign assets and income. Taxpayers should take notice and become compliant. The official IRS notice is below. IR-2018-87, April 9, 2018 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service

IRS Passport Revocation or Denial for Unpaid Taxes

- By : P. Patel

Two years ago, Congress passed Internal Revenue Code Section 7345. This law allows the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to work with the US State Department to suspend and/or deny the passports of taxpayers with seriously delinquent tax debts. The IRS plans to start using this penalty in January 2018. Specifically, if you have a so called

IRS Announces New Investigative Units

- By : P. Patel

In a press call on August 2, 2017, the Chief of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division (“IRS-CI” or CID), John D. Fort, announced two new enforcement initiatives: a National Coordinated Investigations Unit and an International Tax Enforcement Group. Fort also explained that the Criminal Investigation division is—and will be—increasingly focusing on the

Avoiding and Defining Willfulness

- By : P. Patel

U.S. taxpayers with unreported foreign accounts or assets are in a challenging position. The IRS has repeatedly announced that it is devoting resources to finding and penalizing taxpayers who do not disclose such offshore accounts and assets. In addition, many U.S. taxpayers, both domestic and international, are facing pressure from foreign banks to disclose their U.S. taxpayer

ABA Conference with Government Officials

- By : P. Patel

The ABA recently held a conference titled National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and Institute on Tax Controversy.  I attended the conference where many tax attorneys and government officials discussed issues of interest. Also discussed was the effect of streamlined program to channel most taxpayers into streamlined rather than OVDP.  Government official John McDougal said

New IRS IRM with Updated Streamlined Filing Compliance procedures

- By : P. Patel

The Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) is essentially the IRS employee handbook on how to carry out all administrative and procedural matters, such as how to audit specific tax returns, collect taxes, process returns, or assess penalties. The IRM may be the most important tool provided to IRS employees as it contains vital information to help

IRS Collects $10 Billion From Voluntary Disclosures of Foreign Assets

- By : P. Patel

The Internal Revenue Service’s efforts to prod taxpayers to disclose their offshore bank accounts and pay taxes on their holdings have reached the $10 billion mark and prompted over 100,000 taxpayers to come forward, the IRS said last Friday in a public statement. The latest figures indicate 55,800 taxpayers have entered the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary

Delinquent or unfiled IRS Form 5471

- By : P. Patel

IRS Form 5471 is a form required to be filed by US owners of foreign corporations. The form and filing requirements are complicated, and the penalties and consequences for non-filing are extreme. A taxpayer who has not been already contacted by the government should immediately take steps to cure the noncompliance because the IRS has increased