The IRS recently released Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) related documents in response to a FOIA request by Tax Analysts.
The documents are internal IRS “job aids” for examiners and others enforcing OVDP and the streamlined filing compliance procedures. The information in the documents largely conforms to what the IRS has publicly released. Unfortunately, the documents do not shed much light on factors indicating willfulness, with the IRS claiming an exemption from releasing its willfulness indicators as techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations and procedures.
However, the documents do shed light on factors the IRS considers in accepting taxpayers into the streamlined filing compliance procedures and OVDP. Specifically, the IRS released a fact sheet for transition streamline requests that included several items of information that the examiner must request, such as the taxpayer’s education, occupation, relationship to the country in which the foreign accounts are located, and others. Although the fact sheet is specifically designed for taxpayers transitioning from OVDP to the streamlined filing compliance procedures, it could indicate the factors that examiners generally look for within each of those programs.
Finally, the documents also clarify that a taxpayer’s failure to qualify as non-willful for purposes of the streamlined filing compliance procedures does not require a finding of willfulness for FBAR purposes.
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