OVDP vs Streamlined – Offshore Disclosure | IRS OVDP vs Streamlined
OVDP vs. Streamlined
When a U.S. person has offshore or foreign accounts, assets, investments & income that has not been properly reported to the IRS, they have a decision to make, they can either:
- Submit to OVDP (Updated in 2018/2019)
- Submit to the Streamlined Program or Delinquency Procedures
- Prepare a Reasonable Cause Application
- Make a Quiet Disclosure.
The OVDP and Streamlined Procedures are the two most common IRS Offshore Tax Amnesty options.
Streamlined Procedures & OVDP
OVDP vs. Streamlined analysis has changed, since OVDP ended on September 28, 2018. Streamlined Offshore Disclosure is still available, but that soon too will be over.
In the meantime, you still have options. The IRS updated and expanded the traditional IRM (Internal Revenue Manual) Offshore/Voluntary Disclosure Program — which is great for people who’s main non-compliance is foreign business reporting (5471, 8865) and not so good for people who primarily need to get into compliance because of undisclosed bank and financial accounts.
The new penalty structure follows general willful FBAR rules, which currently has a “floor” minimum penalty of $100,000.
What are the Current (2019) Options for Disclosure?
There are 5 main versions of the program. Here are the 5 Main Options:
(New) Updated Traditional IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program
When OVDP (Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program) ended back in September 2018, the Internal Revenue Service was unclear as to whether a New “Offshore” Voluntary Disclosure Program would be introduced. Instead of a “new program,” the traditional voluntary disclosure program was expanded.
You can use the disclosure program to submit FBARs for your Foreign Bank Accounts, FATCA, PFIC, along with your Domestic Income
SFCP – IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures
IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures are a stand-alone “streamlined” version of the traditional OVDP. The “stand-alone” streamlined filing procedures were created in 2014 by the Internal Revenue Service.
The purpose of the procedures are to assist taxpayers who were noncompliant with offshore reporting requirements – but were also non-willful.
If the Taxpayer can certify under penalty of perjury of being non-willful, the IRS reduces the penalty structure, and even waives the penalty for applicants who qualify as foreign residents.
SDOP – IRS Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures
SDOP is the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures, and it is the program designed for for U.S. persons residing in the United States (or do not meet the technical “Foreign Resident Test”)
SFOP – IRS Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures
SFOP is the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures. These are the Procedures for U.S. persons residing outside the United States is referred to as the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures.
DIRP – Delinquency Procedures for Offshore & Foreign Accounts and Assets
If you do not have any unreported income resulting in having to amend your tax returns — and all you have is unreported foreign assets, accounts or investments with no unreported income, you may be in luck. In these instances, in which you do not otherwise need to file for traditional offshore disclosure or the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures — you may qualify for the Delinquency Procedures and avoid any penalties.
RC – Reasonable Cause for Offshore & Foreign Accounts and Assets
Reasonable Cause may be an option for some taxpayers. Specifically, if you were completely non-willful in your failure to disclosure, and were unaware that there was any reporting requirement, then the thought of paying any penalty may sound absurd.
Fixing Lesser Experienced Law Firm mistakes.
IRS Voluntary Disclosure is complex enough for experienced practitioners who focus exclusively in the area of law, never mind relative newcomers who are trying to handle more than just offshore voluntary disclosure as part of their everyday tax practice.
We know, because those cases usually end up on our door-step.
Golding & Golding, A PLC
We have successfully represented clients in more than 1000 streamlined and voluntary disclosure submissions nationwide, and in over 70-different countries.
We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants, and Financial Professionals across the globe.
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Sean holds a Master's in Tax Law from one of the top Tax LL.M. programs in the country at the University of Denver. He has also earned the prestigious IRS Enrolled Agent credential. Mr. Golding's articles have been referenced in such publications as the Washington Post, Forbes, Nolo, and various Law Journals nationwide.
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