IRS Unveils Second Voluntary Disclosure Initiative for Offshore Assets

IRS unveils its second voluntary disclosure program for taxpayers to reveal offshore assets to the government as IRS ramps up its quest to track down unreported overseas accounts, combining higher overall penalties with more flexibility and lower rates for smaller accounts. IRS Commissioner Shulman calls the program “our next major initiative in the offshore compliance area,” but cautions that IRS is continuing its crackdown and adds that the agency has a number of foreign banks under investigation. Bank secrecy, he stresses, is eroding with legislation requiring disclosure of U.S. accounts by overseas banks set to go into effect in 2013. “The risk to individuals hiding assets offshore is clearly increasing,” Shulman says in a briefing with reporters. “We are not letting up on pursuing offshore tax evasion and there will be more in the future.”