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Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program: What does that entail?

Acronyms authored by or otherwise linked with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service tend to immediately strike a good many Americans with fear.

Take OVDP, for instance. Are there some potentially frightening or outright scary implications hidden in those letters?

For some tax filers, there are, with that having been the case for a number of years now. And for others, OVDP -- which is the shorthand designation for the IRS' Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program -- might figuratively and literally spell a lifeline for coming forward and getting financial records straight with an agency that, well, takes such things quite seriously.

As noted in an IRS publication, the OVDP has undergone a series of adjustments in recent years, given the number of Americans who have, in agency parlance, been "encouraged" to come forward with disclosure information regarding offshore assets. The straightforward rationale underlying the OVDP, the IRS notes, has always been on "stopping offshore tax cheating and bringing individuals … back into the tax system."

Many thousands of individuals have unquestionably been encouraged to participate, notwithstanding that involvement in the program often comes with a hefty price, which the IRS has progressively ratcheted upward in successive OVDP initiatives over the years.

The Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC, across the Bay Area and Alameda County, provide knowledgeable legal representation to clients who seek to disclose offshore assets and comply with the dictates of the OVDP or, alternatively, must defend against agency tax-related claims.

We note on our site how materially important it can be "to disclose your offshore assets voluntarily, rather than taking the chance that the IRS does not discover them."

Civil -- as well as criminal -- penalties can be steep for nondisclosure.

Questions or concerns regarding the OVDP, the FBAR asset-reporting form, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) or any other matter relating to offshore asset disclosure can be directed to a proven tax attorney.

Our principal attorney is both a long-tenured tax attorney and a CPA who regularly advocates on behalf of California individuals and businesses.

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