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Should You Disclose Your Virginia Offshore Bank Account Now or Later?

News, Offshore Account Update

Posted in on August 22, 2019

If you have unreported offshore bank accounts, you may be aware that you can disclose these accounts to the IRS while minimizing your penalties and criminal exposure. However, you may also be inclined to refrain from disclosing these accounts immediately. That said, the question is: Disclose now or later?

Virginia offshore bank account lawyer Kevin E. Thorn can advise you on this question. And if you take the preferable route of disclosing your offshore accounts now, your attorney can help you successfully navigate the process.

What are the Risks of Waiting to Disclose Offshore Accounts?

Some of the many risks of waiting to disclose your offshore accounts to the IRS are as follows:

  • IRS Examination: If you come under IRS examination, you may no longer be eligible for offshore voluntary disclosure programs. This may be true even if the examination is unrelated to your offshore accounts. Better to disclose now and not take the chance of this opportunity being cut off.
  • IRS Information from Foreign Banks: The IRS receives a great deal of information from foreign banks because of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA compels foreign financial institutions to share account information for accounts held by U.S. taxpayers. Accordingly, if you don’t inform the IRS of your offshore account, the foreign bank may do it for you. This is definitely a situation to avoid by disclosing your offshore accounts now.
  • Penalties Add Up Over Time: Each unreported bank account can result in tax penalties for every tax year it is not reported to the IRS. With these penalties adding up over time, it is better to disclose offshore accounts sooner rather than later.

Can a Virginia Offshore Bank Account Lawyer Help?

Without a doubt, yes.

A Virginia tax attorney familiar with offshore disclosures can assess your situation and provide you with the best options for voluntary disclosures. The 2018 Updated Voluntary Disclosure Program provides a process that allows for disclosure of all accounts, while keeping your penalties down and avoiding criminal prosecution. Both this program and other offshore voluntary disclosure programs can be extremely helpful. However, it is generally advisable to utilize these programs as soon as possible.

But taxpayers should beware, because the voluntary disclosure process is complex, involved, and not advisable for taxpayers to navigate on their own. An international tax lawyer familiar with offshore accounts and voluntary disclosures is the best option for assistance. Not only can your lawyer assess your situation and estimate the potential costs and penalties, but they can take you through the process smoothly. The stakes are too high for a taxpayer to attempt this on their own.

Contact Thorn Law Group About Your Undisclosed Virginia Offshore Bank Account

To avoid criminal prosecution, taxpayers may wish to disclose their unreported offshore accounts sooner rather than later. With proper use and navigation of a voluntary disclosure option, the taxpayer may be able to minimize or even eliminate their criminal exposure.

If you are wondering whether to wait to report your undisclosed Virginia offshore bank account, contact the Thorn Law Group for advice from a seasoned tax attorney. For a consultation, contact Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner, today at 703-752-3752.

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