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How Can a Tax Lawyer Help if You Have Failed to Report Your Offshore Accounts to the IRS?

News, Offshore Account Update

Posted in on September 30, 2020

Many U.S. taxpayers are unaware that they have an obligation to disclose their offshore accounts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Even if you do not owe any tax as a result of your foreign holdings, you must still report them, and failing to do so can lead to substantial liability.

If you own offshore accounts that you have not reported to the IRS, you need to report them before the IRS discovers them through other means, but you must also be very careful in doing so. While there are two “voluntary compliance” programs available – the Voluntary Disclosure Practice and the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures – neither offers complete protection, and both are subject to stringent requirements.

What Can Happen When You Voluntarily Disclose Your Offshore Accounts to the IRS with the Help of a Maryland Tax Attorney?

When seeking protection in relation to delinquent offshore account filings, it is extremely important to work with an experienced tax attorney who can advise you appropriately and deal with the IRS effectively on your behalf. Here are three recent examples of cases in which Maryland tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, helped taxpayers avoid substantial penalties through the voluntary disclosure process:

1. Family Secures $250,000 Refund After Accounting Firm Wrongly Files Voluntary Disclosure

Mr. Thorn represented family members who had inherited a substantial estate in Lebanon. The family’s accounting firm sought protection under the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (a predecessor to the IRS’ current voluntary disclosure programs) despite the family lacking access to the documentation needed to meet the program’s requirements. Mr. Thorn was able to convince the IRS to overlook the accounting firm’s mistake and secured a $250,000 refund for the family.

2. Siblings Secure Multi-Million-Dollar Offshore Inheritance and Avoids Penalties Through Voluntary Disclosure

Mr. Thorn represented siblings whose mother left them a multi-million-dollar inheritance in a French bank account. Despite the bank initially denying the siblings access to the account, Mr. Thorn was able to secure the account and subsequently make all requisite filings in order to protect the siblings from unnecessary liability to the IRS.

3. Family Avoids More than $6 Million in Potential Penalties Due to Untimely Disclosure

Mr. Thorn represented 12 family members who were beneficiaries of a foundation in Liechtenstein, and whose previous attorney had mishandled their voluntary disclosure. With millions of dollars in potential penalties on the line, Mr. Thorn was able to obtain an advantageous settlement with the IRS and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) which resulted in the family saving more than $6 million while also avoiding the costs, publicity, and uncertainty of trial.

Do You Have Questions About Offshore Account Disclosure Compliance?

If you have questions about offshore account disclosure compliance or need help navigating the IRS’ voluntary compliance procedures, we encourage you to contact us promptly for an initial consultation. To speak with Maryland tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group in confidence, call 240-235-5096, email ket@thornlawgroup.com or tell us how we can help online today.

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