How to Come Clean With Your Offshore Accounts

Here’s the truth: The secrecy of a Swiss bank account has been relegated to urban legend status. Yes, there was a time when virtually anyone could stash money in one of Switzerland’s best banks and rest assured no one else would know about it. Those day are gone.

In fact, the message most Swiss banks would deliver to US citizens today would probably be, “Please take your business elsewhere. Your Internal Revenue Service has beaten us up pretty badly in the courts, and taking your money just isn’t worth it.”

There’s massive pressure being exerted internationally by the IRS for banking systems to clean up their act. While we here at home know that the IRS plays hardball, other countries are finding just now finding out. Credit Suisse, a huge Swiss bank, plead guilty to conspiring to help US tax evaders and agreed to pay a $2.6 billion fine. A much smaller bank, Wegelin & Co., are no longer in business after making a similar plea.

In short, the jig is up.

Navigating Your Way With the IRS

As US citizens, we already know what the other countries in the world are just now finding out: The IRS can be an absolute beast in its quest for making sure everyone pays up. They’re masters manipulating public opinion. They want us to be afraid of them, and they have succeeded – with the help of the US Congress – in making us so.

As you look at our site, it should be obvious that we’re experts in all things related to taxes and specialize in the FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report).

Why should you care about the FBAR? Simple; if you are a US citizen, your income is taxable regardless of what country it comes from. If you’ve never filed an FBAR, you need to do it ASAP, because the IRS is aware of it.

That’s where we come in. Because the FBAR is not a well known requirement among the US tax paying population, the procedure for filing one can be equally unknown.

Let’s take a look at the different ways we can help you file your FBAR. Please note that these procedures are for US citizens and green card holders.

  1. Streamline Filing

This process is for those who have not paid their taxes on time because of honest mistakes – didn’t know about requirements, were not up to speed on tax laws, etc. – and want to do the right thing. In this process, the penalty for not paying taxes on offshore assets is approximately 5%.

  1. Delinquent Filing

The word “delinquent” makes this sound harsh, but it’s really not that bad. This procedure is for taxpayers who are current with their accounts but did not file the required FBAR form.

To make a delinquent filing, you’ll just need to include a statement for why you were unable to told the form, and certify that none of the accounts you have authority over are engaged in tax evasion.

  1. Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP)

The OVDP is for taxpayers who willfully neglect to report income and file FBARs. This option is a very expensive one, including a 27.5% or 50% offshore penalty based on the highest value held offshore over eight (8) years.

Put Our Expertise to Work For You

Regardless of how to choose to proceed, it pays to have someone who knows all the ins and outs on your side. We are that someone, and we can save you more of your money.

Get in touch with us today, and let us start working for you. Send an email to Eric Stuhler at info@efilefbar.com.

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