IRS Voluntary Disclosure
Taxpayers who have knowingly violated the tax laws are in danger of prosecution by the government. However, they can effectively avoid prosecution by self-reporting their prior tax violations to the IRS before the IRS begins an investigation by taking advantage of the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program. While making a Voluntary Disclosure does not guarantee that the IRS will not refer the taxpayer to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution, it is the IRS’s long-standing policy to not refer for prosecution taxpayers who make a full Voluntary Disclosure of their transgressions.
The Voluntary Disclosure Program has received renewed interest lately in the wake of the IRS’s efforts to identify and prosecute taxpayers who used offshore bank accounts to allegedly evade their income tax liabilities.
On January 9, 2012, the IRS introduced the reopening of its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program for Undisclosed Offshore Accounts! To enter this program taxpayers with undisclosed accounts must file a Voluntary Disclosure.
For more of the voluntary disclosure settlement initiative for offshore and foreign account investors, click here.
Voluntary disclosures are extremely sensitive and complex and they are subject to strict rules and guidelines. Once taxpayers are accepted into the voluntary disclosure program, they must provide the IRS with full cooperation while their case is being reviewed. Thus, a taxpayer's eligibility for this program must be carefully evaluated prior to contacting the IRS. Generally, the IRS’s Voluntary Disclosure policy applies to a taxpayer who:
- Completely and voluntarily informs the IRS of his tax violations;
- Had income from only legal sources;
- Makes the disclosure prior to being informed that he is under criminal investigation;
- Files a correct tax return or cooperates with the IRS in ascertaining his correct tax liability; and
- Makes full payment of the amount due, or if unable to do so, makes arrangements to pay.
The Program is not just for individuals. Corporations, partnerships, trusts, and other entities are eligible to participate in the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program.
Time is of the essence - Once the IRS opens an examination of a taxpayer, that taxpayer is no longer eligible to disclose under the Voluntary Disclosure Program. Thorn Law Group has the civil tax law experience to help you get back into compliance with the IRS through the Voluntary Disclosure Program.
For the most up-to-date information on the offshore account investigations and voluntary disclosures visit our News & Events Blog.