Voluntary disclosure .pdf
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Title: The Penalties You Can Avoid By Opting for Voluntary Disclosure
Content: Most people know that tax evasion comes with penalties, but not many know exactly what they
would be facing if they undisclosed offshore accounts were discovered. This explains why some out there
are still hesitant to participate in the voluntary disclosure program even when it is so beneficial. If you are
reading this, the penalties outlined below will probably make apparent the magnitude of risk you are
taking by failing to disclose accounts you may be holding in other countries.
What is the penalty for failing to file FBARs?
Tax laws state that US citizens and residents alike must report any direct or indirect financial interest in
accounts they maintain with foreign banks if, for any financial calendar, these accounts reached an
aggregated total of $ 10000. If you willfully failed to file an FBAR, a penalty of more than $ 100000
could be charged on you. In some cases, 50% of the value of the accounts you have in other countries
could be seized for each violation.
Criminal Charges in case of failing Voluntary Disclosure
If you are charged and found guilty of tax evasion, you could go to jail for a period that does not
exceed five years and be fined an amount that does not exceed the total of $ 250000.
Criminal penalties for filing false tax returns attract a prison term of not more than three years
and a fine that does not exceed $ 250000.
If you are charged and found guilty of not filing your tax returns, you will be subject to a prison
term that does not exceed one year and be fined an amount not more than $ 100000.
People found guilty and convicted of intentionally failing to file an FBAR are subject to a tenyear maximum jail term and penalties of up to $ 250000.
As you can see, failing to file an FBAR attracts the most severe penalties. This is to say that by ignoring
to disclose voluntarily any offshore accounts that you might be holding, you risk going to jail for ten
years. Why would you and especially in such times when the IRS has stepped up its efforts at detecting
‘hidden’ accounts. If you participate in the disclosure program, you will still be penalized but reasonably.
You certainly would not want 50% of the money you have in a foreign bank being lost just because you
How does the IRS determine if Voluntary Disclosure not done willfully?
Unlike failure to file your FBAR willfully, penalties for unintentional violations are less injurious. So,
how does the Internal Revenue Service determine if your violations were intentional? Before you are
convicted, an investigation will be carried out on your accounts. Such factors like the source of your
income, your knowledge about the accounts and such will be used to determine your innocence.
You should, however, note that the IRS would so much want to find you guilty. To avoid being
victimized by a crime you did not commit consciously, you might need an attorney to prove your
ignorance. Financial and tax experts will nonetheless advise you to participate in the voluntary disclosure
program instead of getting into unnecessary trouble.
How do you participate?
FBAR forms can be accessed online from the IRS website. Unlike in the past, the body no longer accepts
forms submitted to it via mail and other methods. If you encounter problems, seek the counsel of an
attorney who specializes in tax matters. You can also dig deeper on the Internet to better familiarize
yourself with the laws that govern voluntary disclosure. Here, it is better to keep in mind that disclosing
foreign account voluntarily is complicated activity, and it requires professional help and support. You can
call and discuss your matters with the representative of a reputable firm just like Chicago Tax Lawyer
Referral Link: https://www.chicagotaxlawyerfirm.com/offshore-banking-disclosures/
(Open 7 Days for Calls)
180 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60603
Local: (312) 608-2772