Today I was in a class on overseas banking and reporting requirements for individuals and businesses. I wanted to learn about the latest regulations and their enforcement. We discussed the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, through which taxpayers can “tell on themselves” to the IRS regarding their previously secret foreign bank accounts. The will not be criminally prosecuted, and will have to pay a penalty of 20% of the value of their offshore accounts.
Taxpayers who don’t participate in voluntary disclosure but are later discovered to have secret foreign bank accounts are subject to much stiffer penalties and the threat of criminal prosecution.
Sounds great, right?