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Foreign Asset Disclosure OVDP

It is illegal for U.S. taxpayers to use foreign/offshore accounts, (i.e. foreign bank accounts, securities accounts, and trusts-also known as FBAR) to avoid paying tax on income.  There is criminal liability for failure to disclose assets.  If non-willful, failure to report or disclose may be penalized by up to $10,000 with an additional $10,000 penalty for each 30 days of non-filing after notice from the IRS. However, if willful, the penalty may be the greater of $100,000 or 50% of account balances in addition to potential criminal penalties.

IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP)

OVDP is a program specifically created and targeted for taxpayers with the potential for criminal liability and/or civil penalties due to willful failure to report financial assets abroad and pay the respective taxes due on those assets. The program aims to protect taxpayers from criminal liability and provide them with terms for resolving their civil tax and penalty obligations.  We can assist you and represent you in the program.

As of July 1, 2014, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) went into effect which means that thousands of foreign financial institutions are reporting to the IRS the foreign accounts held by persons in the United States. More than 45,000 taxpayers have come into compliance with their tax obligations voluntarily since the OVDP was launched and taxpayers have the opportunity to pay their taxes, interest and penalties, even those individuals who are not willfully hiding assets.

Taxpayers should be aware that if it becomes public that a financial institution where the taxpayer has an account or another party facilitating the taxpayer’s offshore arrangement is under IRS or DOJ investigation, before the taxpayer’s OVDP pre-clearance request is submitted, the offshore penalty percentage is 50%.

Our law firm has the experience and expertise to help avoid the financial and criminal consequences that may be associated with offshore accounts. We have been able to effectively assist many of our clients successfully. If you think we can be of assistance to you or someone else, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.


Lewis and Garbuz, P.C. represents clients throughout New York City and the surrounding areas, including: Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Westchester, Nassau County, New Jersey and Rockland County and Florida.

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