IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure - Case Accomplishments

IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure – Case Accomplishments

 International Tax Results

(Partial List)

  • Significantly reduced an OVDP penalty by working with the IRS to evaluate a less common retirement plan, which the IRS agreed met the requirements under OVDP FAQ 55.
  • Successfully Represented a Client to avoid involuntary removal from IRS OVDP when an inexperienced law firm took a client through OVDP but then tried to transition them under Streamlined Procedures, even though the client did not qualify for transition procedures due to the timing of the initial OVDP submission.
  • Successfully represented a client who was represented by a firm that submitted a preclearance letter to the IRS for OVDP, even when they were completely non-willful (client unintentionally had accounts at multiple “bad banks”). Prior counsel did not understand the “Bad Bank” rules in relation to willful vs. non-willful, and was going to submit client into OVDP when it was not warranted. We were able to work with the IRS and client was approved for Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures.
  • Successfully Represented Highly Compensated Earners in a Streamlined Program Disclosure with more than 175 Accounts.
  • Represented Clients through OVDP and avoided any Criminal Prosecution or Investigation even though other members of the Corporation were indicted.
  • Successfully represented a non-willful client through the Streamlined Program, even though he had multiple accounts at “Bad Banks” including accounts in a Tax Haven jurisdiction.
  • Successfully received notification from the IRS of no penalties being issued against a high-income earning family with more than 20+ foreign accounts worldwide, including India and Canada. Based on their specific facts and circumstances, we were able to submit them using the Reasonable Cause option
  • Successfully completed a multi-person comprehensive disclosure matter for a family with submissions involving both Offshore Disclosure and Reasonable Cause applications – and Golding & Golding was able to have the highest penalty amount waived by the IRS under Reasonable Cause.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a complex Streamlined Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with nearly 30 different accounts, which were opened and closed over a 10-year period, including foreign real estate earnings from multiple properties.
  • We recently received an IRS “Notice of Completion” for a $10,000,000 Offshore Disclosure Program submission, involving over 20+ foreign accounts, foreign income, foreign assets, multiple PFICs, and other complicated foreign tax assets. 
  • We recently received an IRS “Closing Letter” for a complex OVDP Submission involving over 15 foreign accounts, foreign retirement accounts, and foreign real estate for a client with assets in multiple countries including South Africa, Canada and Germany.
  • We recently received IRS confirmation that a client’s comprehensive Reasonable Cause submission for numerous undeclared foreign accounts in Asia was accepted by the IRS, and no penalty was issued against the clients for several years of previously incomplete tax filings and undisclosed income.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with multiple accounts, which had several U.S. Taxpayer signatories and more than $1,000,000 of funds in Costa Rica, and secured a full-penalty waiver.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with 10 undeclared accounts in France. 
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with 6 undeclared accounts in Hong Kong. 
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with 9 undeclared accounts in China.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with 12 undeclared accounts in India.
  • Successfully represented clients in a Foreign Tax Credit dispute involving multiple years, and convinced IRS to retroactively apply 100% of credit over multiple years.
  • We successfully represented high-net-worth international taxpayers after their CPA fumbled an audit which left taxpayers with nearly $1,000,000 in penalties. Despite the recent audit findings and the fact that they had several undisclosed offshore accounts and unreported foreign bank accounts during the audit which were also not disclosed, we were able to work with the IRS to secure both spouses’ acceptance into the IRS Domestic Offshore Streamlined Program.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with more than 10 undeclared accounts in the U.K.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with 19 undeclared accounts in India.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with 8 undeclared accounts in Italy.
  • We successfully represented clients who were married and living in different countries and qualified for different offshore disclosure programs. The IRS wanted to try to enforce penalties against the U.S. resident spouse, but we were able to prove to the IRS that even though the money was in a joint account, that the money belonged to the non-resident spouse and thus avoided all penalties for BOTH Taxpayers.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with 9 undeclared accounts in India.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with 11 undeclared accounts in Australian and Zealand.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with 18 undeclared accounts in India.
  • We recently received notification of the IRS Acceptance of a Streamlined Domestic Offshore Disclosure Program submission for a client with 10 undeclared accounts in Japan.
  • We successfully represented Canadian clients who were not U.S. Citizens nor were they Legal Permanent Residents, but they were subject to significant income and self-employment taxes due to meeting the Substantial Presence Test in prior years. They received a Notice of Intent to Levy from the IRS on the day before Christmas. We filed a CDP Request and subsequent Appeal with the IRS and were able to avoid the Levy, reduce their IRS Tax Liability by 75%, as well as eliminate ALL Failure to File and Failure to Pay penalties. The 25% remaining taxes were for actual taxes owed. 
  • We successfully represented a client in a transitional OVDP situation in which the client initially paid a large penalty under the OVDP. The IRS initially argued that the client would not be due a refund of the penalty for his Offshore Real Estate. After several rounds of negotiations with the IRS and dealing with multiple IRS Agents in different departments, we are proud to say that we were able to convince the IRS to approve a full 100% refund of the client’s penalty, in accordance with advanced transitional OVDP rules that even certain IRS Agents did not fully comprehend.
  • Our client failed to file tax returns for several years and incurred nearly $100,000 in penalties while residing and working overseas. When the client retained our firm, the time to file an appeal had already expired several years ago. Moreover, he was told by other tax Attorneys and CPAs that there was absolutely nothing he could do to reduce any of the penalties. Our firm prepared a comprehensive Tax Audit Reconsideration package which we submitted to the IRS, and after months of negotiations with different departments at the IRS, we were able to convince the service to reduce the taxpayer’s penalties by nearly 75%. **Update: We successfully eliminated 100% of Taxpayer’s penalties by appealing the IRS’ rejection of Taxpayer’s penalties to the IRS Office of Appeals.  As such, Taxpayer is in the exact position he would have been in had his taxes been properly filed from 2006-2012.
  • We successfully represented a client from start-to-finish in a massive OVDP undertaking. The client initially entered the OVDP (prior to the introduction of the IRS streamlined program), and we submitted documentation for accounts and real estate income scattered around the globe in numerous countries. Once the Streamlined Program was introduced (and before we submitted a closing letter) we transitioned the client into the Streamlined Program (which is equivalent to “Opting Out”). Thereafter, we went through numerous rounds of document and information reporting requests with the IRS, which finally resulted in a closing letter. Our client’s OVDP penalty was reduced from high six-figures down to less than 20% of the original penalty amount.
  • We represented multiple clients engaged in investigations with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and resolved outstanding civil and criminal issues, resulting in the avoidance of criminal prosecution.
  • We successfully transitioned an applicant out of OVDP (he was previously misguided by another CPA/Attorney to submit into the OVDP Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program) and into the modified streamlined program by proving his actions were non-willful, thereby reducing Offshore Penalties by more than 80%.
  • We resolved a complex tax issue for clients who had accounts overseas but were audited before they had a chance to enter the OVDP/Streamlined and we were able to have ALL penalties waived.
  • Our clients reside overseas in a foreign country and are U.S. Citizens traveling on a SOFA passport (Status of Forces Agreement). When they were audited, the IRS argued that the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) taxpayers claimed would be denied but we uncovered a 1972 Revenue Ruling which dealt with the much more stringent “Bona-Fide Resident” test under the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and successfully convinced the IRS that it should apply to the Physical Presence Test as well — saving our clients tens of thousands of dollars in tax liability.
  • We successfully represented an international manufacturing business with annual gross sales exceeding $10 million in a complex EDD audit and resolved the matter with the EDD conceding to only 4 employees of more than 40 total staff members. We were also able to limit the misclassification to “Contract Employee” status in order to limit the impact on future hires. Total outstanding liability was less than .01% of gross sales.
  •  Our client, a retired Military Officer who works as a government contractor in Iraq, had utilized a CPA in California to prepare his tax returns. Needless to say, the CPA was careless while working on our client’s tax returns and wrongfully claimed that he qualified for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion by stating that he was a Bona-Fide Resident of Iraq. As such, our client was concerned, not only for his tax liability but for the penalties he could be assessed (40%). We worked with the IRS and was able to negotiate his tax liability to what it would have been had his taxes been filed properly, while having ALL of his $12,000 in penalties waived for multiple tax years.

Tax Defense and Employee Reclassification

  • We represented a former CFO of a multi-million dollar corporation of which the California Board of Equalization (BOE) was threatening to levy more than $1 million of outstanding Sales and Use Tax against him personally (as the former CFO). The BOE usually issues levies against the owners of the corporation and CFO (since the CFO has financial responsibility of the company). After lengthy negotiations, we were able avoid all liability for our client.
  • We defended a multi-million-dollar nationwide court reporting company facing EDD misclassification of over 100 Independent Contractors, and successfully convinced the EDD that all staff members were properly classified as Independent Contractors.
  • Represented a Movie Production Company with a Multi-Year Audit and achieved two No Change Letters, resulting in zero liability to the client when the IRS was seeking extensive taxes and penalties for a multi-year audit.
  • We defended one of California’s largest marijuana collectives in a comprehensive multi-year sales and use tax audit and limited the assessment to just 3% of annual sales (there was a potential 30%+ assessment looming), without any interruption in business and without an observational on-site audit.
  • We successfully appealed and overturned an EDD Benefits Determination Ruling that initially held that a Court Reporter was an employee and entitled to unemployment benefits. Not only was there no written independent contractor agreement, but the “employee” had already received several months of unemployment. **Update: Thereafter, both the EDD and Claimant filed appeals with the Unemployment Insurance Board for a “Second-Level” Appeal, but they were both denied.
  • We successfully represented a medical group in an EDD Employment Tax Audit facing upwards of $100,000 in penalties and taxes for a potential mis-categorization of doctors as Independent Contractors. Although the proposed notice of assessment held the doctors as employees, once we were retained by the medical group, we were able to negotiate with the EDD, which resulted in the EDD Auditor finding that the doctors were independent contractors and reduced tax liability by nearly 90%.
  • We successfully represented a videography company in which all members were initially held be employees but was able to negotiate with the supervisor and have ALL of the employees deemed as Independent Contractors (except for the single shareholder of the LLC).
  • We successfully represented a professional services firm with over 150 independent contractors who the EDD considered reclassifying as employees but after comprehensive negotiations, we were able to have all but two (2) independent contractors maintain their IC status (both were officers of the S corporation).
  • We represented a real estate investment client who was duped into buying a residential home through a nationwide real estate wholesaler that had an undisclosed IRS lien that was nearly triple the value of the home.  The wholesaler was steadfast and refused to refund any of the purchase price. We took swift action against the wholesaler, which resulted in the wholesaler refunding the full purchase price of the property before the close of business that same day, and before the IRS could take any action against our client.
  • Our client worked for a Federal Agency overseas and had not filed tax returns for 7 years. He was under the mistaken belief (as many foreign government contractors are) that he was not required to file a tax return, since many times he qualified for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) under either the PPT or BFR test.  Making matters worse, this client was stationed in a remote location overseas with very limited internet access and only learned of the IRS Bank Levy after he attempted to use his debit card.  He never received a copy of the IRS Bank Levy, and had no other information other than the fact that an IRS Bank Levy had been issued. We were able to act quickly and contact the IRS only days before the bank was scheduled to release the funds to the IRS and successfully negotiated a release of the IRS Levy.  We were also successful in obtaining an extension to file past tax returns and claim his FEIE.
  • We represented an heir to an estate who was involved in a complex matter with the IRS, wherein the IRS was pursuing recovery for Federal Tax liens against the decedent as well as the estate. We quickly responded to the NFTL (Notice of Federal Tax Lien) by pursuing a CDP (Collection Due Process) hearing request and secured a Non-Collectible Status for the decedent (and by default the decedent’s estate) and eliminated IRS recovery against the heir’s portion of the estate.
  • Our client failed to maintain proper records for several deductions taken in multiple years totaling more than $50,000, including charitable deductions and attorney’s fees which are two red-flags for the IRS.  When she was called for an audit, she was concerned that she would get hit with significant penalties. We were able to successfully represent this client in the audit, and obtain a full waiver for all of her penalties.
  • Our client failed to prepare and file tax returns for 10 years. The client also neglected to respond to lien notices, the intent to levy notice, and other correspondence form the IRS.  Subsequently, a Notice to Levy was issued for nearly $50,0000. A person has 21 days to respond to a Notice of Levy, before a Levy takes action, and the funds are removed from the account and sent to the IRS – the closer a person gets to the 21 days, the less likely of having the Levy removed.  We contacted the IRS on the 20th day (when we were retained), and after dealing with multiple agents at the IRS, we were able to find an agent that understood our client’s circumstance and we negotiated the release of the levy that same day.
  • We successfully negotiated on behalf of a client that was audited for claiming more than a $100,000 in disallowed real estate deductions she was not entitled to, and was assessed penalties totaling more than $17,000. We were able to negotiate a settlement to stretch out her tax liability over a manageable payment plan and have ALL of her penalties waived.
  • We successfully negotiated on behalf of a married couple who claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars of deductions they were not allowed, as well as failed to report more than $500,000 in 1099-C income.  We worked with the clients to prepare and submit an insolvency package, and was able to reduce their outstanding tax liability from almost $200,000 to less than $25,000 (which was the exact amount they would have owed in taxes, if they had initially filed correctly), and had all of their penalties waived.
  • We represented a couple in South Orange County that claimed $40,000+ in Schedule A deductions, for which they had no proof and could not substantiate.  Although they were assessed more than $5,000 in penalties, we were able to extinguish ALL of the assessed penalties.
  • Our client had a Wage Garnishment issued against him in California by the FTB (Franchise Tax Board) with a very steep monthly payment. Nevertheless, we were able to negotiate a 50% reduction in the wage garnishment before our client’s tax return was even processed by the FTB and resolved the tax debt for significantly less money than was claimed by the FTB – with all penalties waived.
  •  Our firm was retained by a highly compensated employee who was being audited for several itemized deductions, which could have resulted in tens of thousands of tax liability and penalties.  We were able to work closely with the IRS agent in charge of the matter and successfully reduced the client’s liability to zero – which resulted in the client not owing any money at all to the IRS.

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