The United States requires its citizens and permanent residents to report and pay tax on their worldwide income. U.S. persons also are required to file various international information returns in connection with their foreign investments and activities. The failure of U.S. persons to comply with the proper reporting, tax payment and filing of international information returns, such as the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) or IRS Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets) may result in serious civil penalties and, if "willful," criminal penalties.
In certain cases, an individual may not know that he or she is a U.S. citizen or U.S. taxpayer or may not fully understand his or her U.S. tax and reporting requirements.
Expanding Global Investigations – Compliance Programs
The IRS has been aggressively pursuing foreign financial institutions from Switzerland and Luxembourg to Israel, Hong Kong and Singapore. FATCA requires such institutions to identify and report information on accounts of U.S. citizens and residents who may owe U.S. tax.
The U.S. Department of Justice (the "DOJ") Swiss Bank Program enables Swiss financial institutions to resolve potential criminal liabilities in the United States by providing an enormous amount of information to the DOJ about the Swiss financial institution and its account holders and the payment of appropriate penalties.
An IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and the Streamlined Domestic/Foreign Offshore Procedures (Streamlined Program) offer proactive options to U.S. taxpayers to bring foreign accounts back into U.S. tax compliance, both in cases where noncompliance may have been willful (OVDP) or not willful (Streamlined Program).
There is limited time to take advantage of the above programs. If the IRS obtains information about noncompliance, then a taxpayer is no longer eligible to participate in the IRS programs noted above.
Offshore Compliance Experience and Expertise
Sharp Partners P.A., has in-depth hands-on experience in assisting noncompliant U.S. taxpayers, whether residing in the United States or abroad, to resolve their U.S. tax reporting and FBAR/international information return noncompliance.
In addition, Sharp Partners P.A., has been active in advising many Swiss financial institutions to navigate the DOJ Swiss Bank Program.
Our experienced team of international tax lawyers collaborates from offices in Tampa, Florida; San Francisco, California; Washington, D.C and Zurich, Switzerland, we serve clients around the world.