IRS Updates FAQs Regarding Reports of Foreign Accounts Voluntary Disclosure Procedure

Frequently Asked Questions – Revised June 24, 2009

1. Why did the IRS issue internal guidance regarding offshore activities now?

The IRS has had a voluntary disclosure practice in its Criminal Manual for many years. Once IRS Criminal Investigation has determined preliminary acceptance into the voluntary disclosure program, the case is referred to the civil side of IRS for examination and resolution of taxes and penalties. Recent IRS enforcement efforts in the offshore area have led to an increased number of voluntary disclosures. Additional taxpayers are considering making voluntary disclosures but are reportedly reluctant to come forward because of uncertainty about the amount of their liability for potentially onerous civil penalties.

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