The 2012 IRS FBAR Voluntary Disclosure Initiative

For years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been pursuing the disclosure of information regarding undeclared interests of U.S. taxpayers (or those who ought to be U.S. taxpayers) in foreign financial accounts. On January 9, 2012, the IRS announced yet another offshore voluntary disclosure program (the 2012 OVDI) following the success of the 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (the 2009 OVDP) and the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (the 2011 OVDI), which were announced many years after the 2003 Offshore Voluntary Compliance Initiative (OVCI) and the 2003 Offshore Credit Card Program (OCCP). Such initiatives typically offer reduced penalties in exchange for taxpayers’ voluntarily coming into compliance before the IRS is aware of their prior tax indiscretions. In part, the success of such initiatives often depends on the perception that strong government tax enforcement efforts will follow.

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