Tuesday, 30 August 2011

IRS Extends Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative Deadline to September 9

Anticipating delays due to Hurricane Irene, the Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline for taxpayers to participate in the agency’s offshore voluntary disclosure initiative, to September 9. The earlier deadline was scheduled to expire on August 31.

Taxpayers who have undisclosed foreign bank accounts and have not yet submitted their documents are advised to take the following actions before September 9, 2011:

• Submit verification information to the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Office. This information must include the person’s name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. The Internal Revenue Service also requires other details that are mentioned in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure letter.

• Taxpayers who are unable to file this information before the deadline may apply for a 90-day extension of the deadline. Individuals requiring a deadline extension should submit their name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. Individuals must also include a statement of all items that are missing, as well as the reasons why these are not being included in the statement.

The Internal Revenue Service is warning individuals who have income in undisclosed offshore accounts that the new deadline for disclosing this information is fast approaching. California tax lawyers also advise that taxpayers who voluntarily disclose information will receive a better deal from the IRS than those who wait for the agency to locate the undisclosed account.

The initiative is part of the Internal Revenue Services’ continued efforts to locate American citizens’ assets in banks and institutions. The Internal Revenue Service has already launched efforts against Credit Suisse and HSBC banks. In 2009, a similar initiative by the Internal Revenue Service to encourage individuals to voluntarily disclose information about foreign accounts resulted in approximately 15,000 disclosures of offshore bank accounts.

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