Voluntary Disclosure

Voluntary Disclosure: Avoiding Civil And Criminal Liability

If you have undisclosed foreign financial assets, you are constantly running the risk of civil and, potentially, criminal liability for failure to properly report those assets. The IRS and its Criminal Investigation (CI) fiercely investigate and prosecute those found to be noncompliant with U.S. tax law and the Bank Secrecy Act.At MillarLaw, we appreciate the high stakes that may be involved whenever undisclosed foreign financial assets and unanticipated tax obligations come to light. Our firm assists taxpayers in pursuing every available legal option in their favor. In many cases, voluntary disclosure is a valuable opportunity for a positive outcome.

Reporting Your Offshore Assets

The IRS initiated its first Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) in 2009. The program was intended as a no-fault incentive for taxpayers with unreported offshore assets to become compliant with the law. While a limited monetary penalty applied, the program shielded participants from harsh civil penalties and criminal consequences relating to the disclosure.

Since then, thousands upon thousands of taxpayers have benefited from the program’s protections. The current program — which began in 2012 and was modified in 2014 — and its related streamlined procedures continue to serve as a viable option for those seeking to come into compliance with U.S. tax law and the Bank Secrecy Act.

Disclosing Domestic Assets

Taxpayers with unreported income, inheritance or gifts may also elect to come into compliance through the IRS’s domestic voluntary disclosure program. For those with undisclosed offshore and domestic assets, pursuing voluntary disclosure entails a complete disclosure of both types.

California’s Franchise Tax Board also offers a voluntary disclosure program for qualifying taxpayers. Other states have voluntary disclosure programs that may vary from California’s.

Why You Should Consult With An Attorney

There are no guarantees in voluntary disclosure programs. As a result, it’s critical to determine whether you qualify — and, if you do, to weigh the pros and cons — before potentially exposing yourself to criminal and civil liability.

At MillarLaw, you will receive a thorough and knowledgeable assessment of your options. Our lawyers will walk you through the risks and benefits of voluntary disclosure. Through sound legal advice rooted in 40-plus years of tax law experience, we will help you determine what course of action makes the most sense for your financial interests, both now and in the long run.

Don’t Wait, Contact Us Today

The OVDP program is an opportunity to come into compliance with U.S. tax laws while avoiding many of the harsh criminal and civil penalties. However, the program may not be around forever. Do not wait until it’s too late. Contact our firm to find out more about OVDP and to discuss your situation in detail. Call us at 310-556-3007.