Tax Attorney Seattle – IRS Lawyer for Foreign Accounts & Assets
At Golding & Golding, we have represented numerous clients throughout Seattle/Washington in all aspects of International Tax Law.
From our state-of-the-art offices in Irvine, we have the technology, experience and dedication to effectively represent clients nationwide and worldwide.
Meet Golding & Golding
The Tax Attorneys at Golding & Golding focus their entire legal practice on International Tax Law, with a focus on IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure and International IRS Tax Penalty Reduction.
Our IRS Attorneys have represented clients worldwide in over 60 countries on a broad range of complex international tax related issues involving:
- IRS Audits (Eggshell IRS Audits and Reverse Eggshell Audits)
- IRS High-Dollar Examinations
- IRS Criminal Investigations
- IRS Fraud
- IRS Evasion
- Negotiating with Special Agents
Golding & Golding Focuses on International Tax
When it comes to handling tax issues, it is important to specialize. Tax law is complex and unless your tax lawyer has a specialty… chances are they do not have the experience to represent you properly, especially in International Tax Law.
Our Tax Lawyers focus exclusively on International Tax.
We have worked with thousands of clients nationwide and worldwide on matters including:
- Reporting Foreign Accounts
- Reporting Foreign Assets
- Reporting Foreign Income
- Reporting Foreign Investments
- International Criminal Tax Investigations
The Typical Matters We Handle at Golding & Golding
The following is a brief summary of some of the more common matters we handle:
Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP): Our International Tax Lawyers represent clients with IRS OVDP (Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program) submissions. We diligently work to protect our clients, while developing cost-effective tax & penalty reduction strategies for Foreign Income, Assets, Real Estate and Investments worldwide.
The OVDP Opt-out is an approved method for trying to obtain a reduced OVDP Penalty if you are already within the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (especially if you do not qualify for Transitional Treatment).
Despite the fact that the IRS will not negotiate the value of the penalty if you are planning on signing the Closing Letter (906), if you decide to Opt-Out of the traditional OVDP Penalty Structure — you may be able to significantly reduce the IRS OVDP Penalty.
IRS OVDP Opt-Out Procedures for FBAR and/or FATCA Form 8938 Penalties can be a risky proposition – but for some people “Opting-Out” of the established OVDP penalty structure is the only way to get a fair penalty issued.
Streamlined Offshore Disclosure: If you are Non-Willful or have Reasonable Cause, you may be able to reduce or avoid Offshore Disclosure Penalties for FBAR or FATCA non-compliance. Our International Tax Lawyers evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case, including penalty reduction strategies, and work with you every step of the way!
IRS Reasonable Cause Statement: Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding your nondisclosure, reasonable cause may be a viable alternative to either OVDP or the streamlined program. Reasonable cause is a fact specific submission, in which you request a penalty waiver in lieu of the OVDP or Streamlined Domestic Penalty.
The FBAR aka FinCEN 114 (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) is one of the most dreaded International IRS Tax forms out there.
Moreover, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the failure to report the form, a person may find himself or herself subject to extremely high monetary fines and penalties, ranging from a warning letter in lieu of penalty, all they way up to a penalty that reaches a 100% value of the unreported foreign accounts and assets (in a multi-year audit), as well as the potential of a IRS Special Agent Criminal Investigation.
Form 8938 Penalties (FATCA)
Form 8938 penalties will vary, depending on your particular facts and circumstances. You may even be able to obtain a penalty waiver using Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures or Reasonable Cause (if the IRS agent is feeling friendly) and avoid being penalized upwards of $60,000 (for multiple years of non-compliance).
Form 3520 Penalties
Generally, the initial penalty is equal to the greater of $10,000 or the following (as applicable): 35% of the gross value of any property transferred to a foreign trust for failure by a U.S. transferor to report the creation of or transfer to a foreign trust. 35% of the gross value of the distributions received from a foreign trust for failure by a U.S. person to report receipt of the distribution.
5% of the gross value of the portion of the foreign trust’s assets treated as owned by a U.S. person under the grantor trust rules (sections 671 through 679) for failure by the U.S. person to report the U.S. owner information.
Such U.S. person is subject to an additional separate 5% penalty (or $10,000 if greater), if the foreign trust (a) fails to file a timely Form 3520-A, or (b) does not furnish all of the information required by section 6048(b) or includes incorrect information. See section 6677(a) through (c) and the Instructions for Form 3520-A.
Additional penalties will be imposed if the noncompliance continues for more than 90 days after the IRS mails a notice of failure to comply with the required reporting. For more information, see section 6677.
Form 5471 Penalties
A $10,000 penalty is imposed for each annual accounting period of each foreign corporation for failure to furnish the required information within the time prescribed. If the information is not filed within 90 days after the IRS has mailed a notice of the failure to the U.S. person, an additional $10,000 penalty (per foreign corporation) is charged for each 30-day period, or fraction thereof, during which the failure continues after the 90-day period has expired.
The additional penalty is limited to a maximum of $50,000 for each failure. Any person who fails to file or report all of the information required within the time prescribed will be subject to a reduction of 10% of the foreign taxes available for credit under sections 901, 902, and 960. If the failure continues 90 days or more after the date the IRS mails notice of the failure to the U.S. person, an additional 5% reduction is made for each 3-month period, or fraction thereof, during which the failure continues after the 90-day period has expired. See section 6038(c) (2) for limits on the amount of this penalty.
Form 8865 Penalties
$10,000 penalty is imposed for each tax year of each foreign partnership for failure to furnish the required information within the time prescribed. If the information is not filed within 90 days after the IRS has mailed a notice of the failure to the U.S. person, an additional $10,000 penalty (per foreign partnership) is charged for each 30-day period, or fraction thereof, during which the failure continues after the 90-day period has expired.
Recent Accomplishments by Golding & Golding
– Reduced OVDP Penalties by 85% with an OVDP Opt-Out. We took over for another firm that was inexperienced in OVDP and got the clients into a major jam (facing potential mid-six figure penalties). After a year long negotiation with the IRS, we reduced the OVDP penalty to only a fraction of the original penalty, which was lower than what the Streamlined Penalty would have been
– 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.