I.R.S. ANNOUNCES MAJOR CHANGES TO O.V.D.P. AND STREAMLINED PROCEDURES
After more than two weeks of speculation, 49 on June 18, 2014, the I.R.S. announced major changes to its current offshore voluntary disclosure programs earlier today. The programs affected are the 2012 Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures for Non-Resident, Non-Filer U.S. Taxpayers (the “Streamlined Procedures”) and the 2012 O.V.D.P.
In general, as will be discussed in more detail below, the changes to the programs relax the rules for non-willful filers and at the same time potentially increase penalties for willful non-compliance.
The changes to the O.V.D.P., as announced today, include the following:
- Additional information will be required from taxpayers applying to the program;
- The existing reduced penalty percentage for non-willful taxpayers will be eliminated;
- All account statements, as well as payment of the offshore penalty, must be submitted at the time of the O.V.D.P. application;
- Taxpayers will be able to submit important amounts of records electronically; and
- The offshore penalty will be increased from 27.5% to 50% if, prior to the taxpayer’s pre-clearance submission, it becomes public that a financial institution where the taxpayer holds an account or another party facilitating the taxpayer’s offshore arrangement is under investigation by the I.R.S. or the Department of Justice.