IRS to End Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
The Internal Revenue Service announced on March 13 that it plans to end its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) on Sept. 28, 2018. The OVDP allowed taxpayers to avoid prosecution by voluntarily disclosing untaxed money held overseas and paying a set penalty. The OVDP, which has been available since 2009, has experienced a significant decline in taxpayer participation as awareness of offshore tax and reporting requirements has increased.
After the OVDP ends, streamlined filing compliance procedures, as well as other existing methods, will remain available for eligible taxpayers. In order to participate, individual taxpayers must meet specific criteria, including certifying under penalty of perjury that conduct was not willful. This includes conduct due to negligence, inadvertence, mistakes, or a good faith misunderstanding of the requirements of the law. Taxpayers are encouraged to use the streamlined filing compliance procedures while they remain available.
If US taxpayers want to participate in the OVDP prior to its conclusion, submissions must be postmarked or received by the IRS by Sept. 28, 2018. Taxpayers should consider becoming compliant before the end of the program, as the IRS will continue to prioritize enforcement of offshore compliance with tax requirements