Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program Closure

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced it will close the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) on September 28, 2018.

The IRS news release on the closure of the OVDP stated:

“Since the OVDP’s initial launch in 2009, more than 56,000 taxpayers have used one of the programs to comply voluntarily. All told, those taxpayers paid a total of $11.1 billion in back taxes, interest and penalties. The planned end of the current OVDP also reflects advances in third-party reporting and increased awareness of U.S. taxpayers of their offshore tax and reporting obligations.”

In the announcement, the IRS noted that it will continue to use other tools to combat offshore tax avoidance, including civil and criminal methods.  According to the announcement, “[s]ince 2009, IRS Criminal Investigation has indicted 1,545 taxpayers on criminal violations related to international activities, of which 671 taxpayers were indicted on international criminal tax violations.”

The IRS stated it will continue to utilize the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures for taxpayers who qualify; however, the Service also indicated it may end the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures at some point.