How Does OVDP Willfulness Impact Citizenship?
When it comes to the willful failure to report foreign income and/or foreign accounts, one of the best ways to get into compliance is with OVDP. But, when a person has a pending or imminent Naturalization or Legal Permanent Residency Application, there is a lot to consider before making any proactive representation to the IRS.
**OVDP is not the same as the Streamlined Program, in which a person is certifying they are non-willful, and therefore these issues do not typically apply for Streamlined Applications.
OVDP is not Criminal
Just because a person enters OVDP does not mean they are criminal; OVDP is not a criminal procedure.
But when a person has a pending N-485 or I-400 application pending (that they have already signed) the situation is different. That is because when a person submits immigration documentation, they are already stating that they did not break any laws and/or certified that there taxes were properly filed.
Were you Scared Into OVDP?
One of the main issues we are coming across are foreigners who comes to us after they were sold on the idea of OVDP. They are scared into OVDP before having the opportunity to speak with a knowledgeable international tax attorney in order to explain the ramifications of an OVDP application on other aspects of a person’s life, including naturalization and citizenship.
OVDP & Naturalization or Legal Permanent Residency
If you are currently seeking to apply for Naturalization or Legal Permanent Residency, it is very important to carefully evaluate whether you were willful or not (including international omission and reckless disregard) before submitting to the IRS. If you were non-willful, OVDP may be a bit of an overkill.
While we do represent many people who choose OVDP over Streamlined for many different reasons, when a person is already in the process of Naturalization or seeking Legal Permanent Residency, there are many factors and strategies to consider – along with the timing of the submission.
OVDP vs. Streamlined
It is important to understand the basics of the different IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs before making any proactive representation to the IRS.
These two Voluntary Disclosure programs (OVDP and Streamlined) are made available by the IRS to individuals, estates and businesses that are out of compliance regarding the reporting of offshore accounts, income, investments, real estate, retirement, pensions, etc.
Golding & Golding, A PLC
We have successfully represented clients in more than 1,000 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.