According to the Wall Street Journal, there has been a recent increase in the number of taxpayers with offshore accounts who are coming forward to take advantage of the IRS amnesty program. The reason is likely because Swiss banks are putting pressure on U.S. taxpayers warning them that it is possible that their information could soon be disclosed. Under the terms of the offshore voluntary disclosure program, if taxpayers are audited or the accounts are discovered prior to entry into the program, the taxpayers are no longer eligible. By entering the program taxpayers pay a penalty based on the balance of the account, but avoid criminal prosecution.
Furthermore, as the IRS continues with programs such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and information sharing agreements with other countries, taxpayers should be aware that if they want to enter the offshore voluntary disclosure program the sooner the better. If you have foreign bank accounts or investments and want to know all of your options, contact us at Hone Maxwell LLP today for a complete analysis of your case. We will discuss the benefits and risks of all potential options. For more tax updates and the latest news you can follow us on twitter @HMLLPTax or facebook at www.facebook.com/HoneMaxwellLLP.