An attorney with the St. Louis firm Capes, Sokol, Goodman & Sarachan say that a new initiative announced by the Internal Revenue Service is expected to lead to a substantial increase in the number of U.S. taxpayers coming forward to report undisclosed foreign accounts.

IRS commissioner John Koskinen announced that the IRS is implementing changes to its offshore account compliance program that will impact U.S. taxpayers who have willfully failed to disclose their tax obligations, and also U.S. taxpayers whose failure to disclose their tax obligations is considered not willful in nature.

Attorney Sanford J. Boxerman said the new initiative by the IRS modifies the agency’s 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and streamlines filing compliance procedures.

"Among other goals, today’s IRS initiative is designed to advance collection of taxes, interest and penalties from holders of overseas bank accounts and other financial assets," he said.

“The IRS hopes that these changes will prompt U.S. taxpayers with hidden overseas accounts to comply with their tax obligations."

Boxerman focuses his practice in areas of white collar criminal defense, internal investigations; civil and criminal tax controversy; litigation; and appellate practice."

“To potentially avoid maximum penalties that may be levied by the IRS, taxpayers with undisclosed accounts should consider the options available under the newly expanded and streamlined filing process or Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program announced today,” Boxerman advises. “A voluntary disclosure to the IRS of overseas financial assets can, in many cases, be the best way for U.S. taxpayers to potentially avoid prosecution by the U.S. government and some civil penalties as well.

“My initial review tells me that the changes to the streamlined program will make it much more attractive for taxpayers who did not willfully fail to report their foreign accounts to come forward and right the ship."

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