If you have overseas brokerage accounts or stock holdings, pensions, retirement accounts, savings accounts — any foreign financial assets or interest other than real estate — in any given year, you may have to disclose those to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Failure to do so can result in severe penalties and even criminal prosecution. Over the years, the IRS has implemented several versions of which is currently known as the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), where taxpayers can become compliant with the law, have the possibility of reduced penalties, and not be exposed to the risk of criminal prosecution.
In 2014, the IRS expanded its Streamlined Program which will make it even easier for U.S. citizens living in the U.S. and overseas to become compliant. In addition, the IRS offers Delinquent Submission Procedures for taxpayers who may not have filed certain foreign bank reports (FBARs) or other international informational returns, and may not need to use the OVDP or Streamlined Program. If you need to take advantage of one of these programs, our Citrin Cooperman professionals can help.