Offshore Bank Accounts

Offshore Bank Accounts and IRS Taxes


Someone once said that nothing is inevitable except death and taxes. How much you owe in taxes, however, is not inevitable, and having a knowledgeable and experienced IRS Tax Attorney to advise you can save you money, avoid unpleasant difficulties with tax authorities, and take the worry and stress out of managing your business and financial affairs.

Offshore Account Secrecy Eroding

There are many areas in which you may need assistance in tax law. But a key troublesome problem area in recent years has been that of offshore bank accounts.

At one point in time, many people in the U.S. who had foreign bank accounts could count on the secrecy of its existence, based on the law in those countries, which often made the privacy of such accounts sacrosanct. That is no longer the case, and failing to report a foreign bank account or income in that account is regarded by the IRS as a crime. The IRS, in recent years, has also taken legal action against offshore banks and succeeded in getting them to turn over the names of U.S. citizens with accounts, with more offshore banks in the IRS sights.

Failure to Report Can Lead to Fines and Penalties

If you have no reported the existence of your foreign bank accounts on your federal tax returns or other appropriate forms, this can subject you to significant fines and penalties. Failing to pay taxes on the income earned in a foreign account is a separate matter and can lead to both criminal and civil penalties.

Ignoring the Issue Won’t Make It Go Away

Pretending that the IRS is not actively investigating this area is foolish. Doing nothing is not an option, and will almost certainly lead to very unpleasant results at a time when it may be too late to really alleviate the consequences. Simply amending your past tax returns by yourself to list offshore bank accounts and pay back taxes owed on income in them will not make the IRS hold back from imposing penalties and interest and taking other enforcement actions.

IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program

The IRS currently has an amnesty program in which an experienced IRS Tax Attorney can approach the IRS representing you and seek amnesty that could bring with it the reduction of penalties that would otherwise be imposed and a deal avoiding criminal prosecution, especially when combined with action that indicated compliance with disclosure requirements in the future.

Current Program May Soon End

The IRS current program is known as the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The IRS has warned on its website that it may end this program at any time in the future. Accordingly, time is of the essence. If this is a problem you are confronting, now is the time to retain an experienced IRS Tax Attorney, and have them prepare the proper forms, comply with the programs requirements, and deal with the IRS on your behalf.

Those Denied Participation Also Need Help

The IRS previously has kicked out a number of taxpayers initially accepted into the Voluntary Disclosure Programs in 2011 and 2012 for failure to meet all requirements. But the U.S. Justice Department has indicated that it will take into consideration the question of “fairness” in determining whether to prosecute these individuals, according to an article in Forbes magazine. Those in such circumstances badly need the assistance of an experienced IRS Tax Attorney.

It also underscores why you should only attempt to enter into the Voluntary Disclosure Program with the assistance of an experienced tax attorney, so that it is done properly.

Free Tax Consultation

With an experienced IRS Tax Attorney to guide you, this often stressful process does not have to be stressful at all. With over 20 years of experience as a local and qualified tax law firm in the Chicago area, we offer what you need. Conveniently located in the Southwest Suburbs close to many expressway exits, with flexible evening and weekend hours available, you should Call Us Now for a no-obligation absolutely Free Confidential In-Person Consultation at (708) 598-5999 or fill out the contact form to the right.