The IRS announced in a recent press release that it has made significant changes to its offshore voluntary compliance programs. The changes provide new options designed to help high net worth taxpayers residing both in the U.S. and overseas meet their income tax requirements more easily. According to the IRS the changes are expected to, “provide thousands of people a new avenue to come into compliance with their U.S. tax obligations.”

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, believes the latest round of changes to the Offshore voluntary disclosure programs (OVDP), will encourage even greater compliance. “The new versions of our offshore programs reflect a carefully balanced approach to ensure everyone pays their fair share of taxes owed. Through the changes we are announcing today, we provide additional flexibility in key respects while maintaining the central components of our voluntary programs.”

According to the press release, the changes include:

  • expansion of the streamlined filing OVDP compliance procedures
  • significant modifications to the overall Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

Of the most significant changes, whereas the original streamlined program was only available to non-resident, non-filers and was subject to varying degrees of review based on the information provided, the expanded streamlined procedures are available to more taxpayers including, for the first time those living in the United States.

The IRS has provided a webpage with full details of the streamlined procedures and new options available under the modified OVDP.

While the actions announced by the IRS on June 18th, involve technical issues, they are important to many taxpayers, particularly those high net worth individuals who may have undisclosed assets in off-shore accounts. Such individuals are urged to use the easier process of voluntary disclosure before the foreign financial institutions where they may have holdings come under the scrutiny of the IRS.

Understanding and complying with the new OVDP procedures can be quite complex. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have further questions on this Advisory, do not hesitate to contact our Private Client Wealth Specialists, or call us at 1-800-239-1474.