CPA Webinar Series: So, My Client Didn't Report Foreign Assets to the IRS. What Now?
Holland & Knight Program
In 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ended the very successful Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), which helped more than 56,000 taxpayers come into compliance since 2009. In addition, the IRS' Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures (Streamlined Procedures) helped more than 100,000 "non-willful" taxpayers come into compliance.
Noncompliant taxpayers with potential criminal exposure who want to voluntarily disclose foreign assets now have limited options such as the IRS' Voluntary Disclosure Practice (VDP). The VDP includes significantly higher penalties relative to the past OVDP. In addition, although the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures are still available for now, the IRS has warned that it will end that program, similar to the warning it gave years before ending the OVDP.
The potential end of the Streamlined Procedures along with the substantial penalties imposed in VDP – including civil fraud and willful Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) penalties – puts CPAs, consultants and other tax and financial professionals in a difficult position when they discover their client's offshore-related tax noncompliance (including situations when the tax professional knew, or should have known, of the noncompliance). Also, systemic penalties imposed on all late filings without consideration of reasonable cause by IRS campus operations complicates the analysis for correcting past reporting errors.
Typical questions a client may ask include:
- What is my civil and criminal exposure, and should I engage an attorney?
- On what forms do I report my foreign assets to the IRS?
- What are my compliance options?
- How many years of delinquent or amended tax returns do I need to file?
- Will the IRS negotiate or abate penalties?
Topics to be covered in this webinar:
- The purpose of various international information returns (Forms 5471, 5472, 8865, 3520, 3520-A, 8938, 8840, 8854, 926 and FBAR) and related penalties for noncompliance
- Options for remedying client noncompliance (e.g., VDP, Streamlined Procedures, Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures, Service Center filings)
- Strategies for requesting penalty abatement and asserting reasonable cause
Continuing Legal Education (CLE)
Holland & Knight will apply for CLE credit based on attendee requests. Some programs may not be awarded CLE credits because of content or jurisdictional restrictions. CLE accreditation is sought after the completion of the program, and the approval process can be lengthy in some jurisdictions. Holland & Knight is an approved CLE provider in several jurisdictions, including California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. For New York attorneys, this program's format qualifies for CLE for transitional (newly admitted) and experienced attorneys.