The IRS recently announced that it will obtain account records of U.S. Citizens from banks located in Singapore, The British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and the Cook Islands. Banks located on these islands have long been considered safe havens for privacy and secret bank accounts.
Obtaining bank records from these island tax-havens is part of IRS efforts to pursue international tax evasion. The efforts of the United States have been helped by recent legislation which has motivated countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia to cooperate with the United States in order to ascertain information about those who may be illegally evading taxes. Those with offshore bank accounts that have not previously been disclosed to the IRS may find themselves the subject of civil audits, criminal investigation and prosecution.
Entry into the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, however, is still possible even though the United States will be obtaining offshore account information in the near future from banks which previously had the reputation and practice of being very private.
The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program provides a means by which people can avoid criminal prosecution, incarceration and significantly reduce the civil penalties that would otherwise be imposed when the IRS discovers undisclosed offshore bank accounts.
Even though the United States has reached an agreement with Australia and the United Kingdom to obtain the information from the banks located on these tax-haven islands, the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program is still available to U.S. Citizens as long as they enter the program before the banks provide the account information.
For a confidential consultation concerning offshore accounts, criminal consequences of non-disclosure and opportunities provided by the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, contact the Law Offices of Mark L. Horwitz, PA at (407) 901-5852