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How Long Does OVDP Take?


Posted in on March 31, 2017

The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Process (OVDP) provides an opportunity to limit penalties for a failure to properly disclose offshore accounts as required by U.S. law. If you do not participate in OVDP and undeclared offshore accounts are discovered, it is possible you will face substantial civil penalties. The financial loss has, in some cases, exceeded the value of the undeclared accounts. Potential criminal prosecution is also a possibility if it is determined that you were evading your reporting and tax obligations for offshore accounts.

While participation in OVDP makes sense for some offshore accountholders, participation isn't possible for everyone with undeclared offshore funds and is not always the right option for everyone with undeclared offshore funds. You should talk with a Maryland tax law firm to find out if OVDP participation is a good solution for you. Among other things, your attorney can help you to determine how long the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Process will take so you can be better prepared. 

The OVDP Timeline

The OVDP process can be a lengthy process.  More than a year can pass from the time when you submit the initial paperwork to participate in voluntary disclosure until the time when you are issued a Form 906, Closing Agreement and finally pay the reduced OVDP penalties.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know exactly how long OVDP is going to take in your particular case.  As the IRS explains: “Because every case is different, there is no way to predict how long the process will take for you.”

OVDP works on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if there are many people ahead of you, you may have to wait for a much longer period of time to resolve your tax compliance issues. Any late paperwork or documentation or submitting incomplete information can also have a big impact on how quickly your OVDP documents are reviewed and decisions are made.

Although you may not be able to determine exactly how long the OVDP process will take, the IRS suggests some possible steps that you could take in order to try to ensure that the process of resolving your case goes as quickly as possible. Some of the steps recommended by the IRS include the following:

  • Prepare delinquent tax returns or amended tax returns. Your updated returns with correct information must be submitted in order to complete your voluntary disclosure. You'll be given a deadline in the letter you receive from Criminal Investigation and want to have the returns ready.
  • Get all relevant paperwork and documents together that you will need when making your voluntary disclosure so you do not delay the examination of your case by failing to provide documentation in a timely manner.

A Maryland tax law firm will do everything possible to help you complete the voluntary disclosure process in an efficient and timely manner. To find out more about how our legal team can help you to try and quickly resolve problems with offshore accounts, with the minimum of penalties and consequences, give attorney Kevin Thorn a call today.

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