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If you missed filing FBAR, you can take advantage of voluntary disclosure programs. These programs are designed to encourage taxpayers to come forward and become current in their FBAR filings and to pay their tax liabilities.
The IRS offers three voluntary disclosure options:
- Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
- Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures
- Delinquent FBAR submission procedures
Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) is a voluntary disclosure program designed for taxpayers with exposure to potential criminal liability and/or substantial civil penalties due to a willful failure to report foreign financial assets and pay all tax due in respect of those assets. OVDP is designed to provide (1) protection from criminal liability and (2) terms for resolving their civil tax and penalty obligations.
Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures
Streamlined filing compliance procedures are available to taxpayers who certify that their failure to report foreign financial assets and pay all tax due in respect of those assets did not result from willful conduct on their part. They offer a streamlined procedure for filing amended or delinquent returns and terms for resolving tax and penalty obligations. The streamlined procedures are designed to provide to taxpayers in such situations with a streamlined procedure for fling amended or delinquent returns, and terms for resolving their tax and penalty procedure for filing amended or delinquent returns, and terms for resolving their tax and penalty obligations.
Delinquent FBAR submission procedures
Taxpayers who have not filed a required FBAR, are not under a civil examination or a criminal investigation by the IRS, and have not already been contacted by the IRS about the delinquent FBARs should file the delinquent FBARs and include a statement explaining why the FBARs are filed late. The IRS will not impose a penalty if you properly reported on your U.S. tax returns, and paid all tax on, the income from the foreign financial accounts reported on the delinquent FBARs.
If you or a client has not filed required FBARs in the past, now is the time to come forward. Although the penalties are stiff under the OVDP program, they will be much worse if the IRS notifies you and they may include jail time.
Taxpayers who do not need to use OVDP or Streamlined reporting
The IRS will not impose a penalty for the failure to file the delinquent FBARs if you properly reported on your U.S. tax returns, and paid all tax on, the income from the foreign financial accounts reported on the delinquent FBARs, and you have not previously been contacted regarding an income tax examination or a request for delinquent returns for the years for which the delinquent FBARs are submitted. You can file and be current on your compliances. Follow the right procedure laid down by IRS.
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