IRS OVDP Program to Remain Open Indefinitely

by Bruce Givner on February 10, 2015

In a January 28 news release, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said that the agency’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) will remain available to taxpayers until further notice. The indefinite extension of the program comes as the IRS continues its efforts to crack down on offshore tax evasion.

The OVDP was established to allow taxpayers to disclose their offshore assets to the government in exchange for a set penalty and protection from criminal prosecution. Since the program began in 2009, the IRS reports that taxpayers have made more than 50,000 disclosures to the agency, and tax authorities have collected more than $7 billion from this initiative.

Along with the OVDP, the IRS is continuing its aggressive efforts through thousands of offshore-related civil audits. These audits have netted the government tens of millions of dollars, while the agency’s pursuit of criminal charges have reaped billions of dollars in fines and restitutions.

Offshore evasion is also listed in the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams released annually by the IRS, which detail the biggest scams taxpayers should watch out for. Phishing, a practice in which taxpayers receive emails from individuals posing as the IRS asking for sensitive personal and financial information, also made the list and is covered in an earlier blog post.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in light of the agency’s string of successful enforcement actions, “it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore. Taxpayers are best served by coming in voluntarily and getting their taxes and filing requirements in order.” Indeed, despite years of budget cuts, the IRS “continues to pursue cases in all parts of the world, regardless of whether the person hiding money overseas chooses a bank with no offices on U.S. soil.”

Givner & Kaye focuses on sophisticated income tax planning and compliance, tax litigation and procedure, estate planning, and asset protection plans for individuals and businesses in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Santa Barbara Counties. Call Los Angeles Estate Planning and Asset Protection Plan Attorneys Givner & Kaye at (310) 207-8008 today.

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