The ongoing US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) enforcement and compliance initiatives, enhanced cooperation between the IRS and Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”), as well as other tax authorities, ever increasing transparency, especially in view of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) implementation and the resulting massive exchange of tax information between the governments led to a much more rigorous enforcement of US tax law by the US Government, both domestically and worldwide. Substantial penalties for non-compliance by US persons with the Foreign Bank Account Reporting (“FBAR”) obligations and applicable US tax return filing requirements, whether such US persons reside in the United States or abroad, including Canada, raises a lot of issues for delinquent taxpayers, some of whom still prefer to remain non-compliant. The IRS introduced several amnesty programs, including Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”) and Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures (“SFCP”) to facilitate the process of coming into compliance for many delinquent taxpayers who did not know that they were subject to continued US tax filing obligations and foreign financial asset / account disclosure requirements or who intentionally were hiding their foreign assets or bank accounts from the US Government. The existing amnesty programs allow delinquent taxpayers to come forward voluntarily and in many cases avoid substantial penalties, sometimes rising to a level of criminal prosecution.
How Can We Help!
The value that a qualified US tax advisor, whether a tax attorney or an experienced CPA, brings to the table is the knowledge and experience of addressing similar situations and the ability to come up with solutions when they may not necessarily fit in a box of traditional procedural alternatives. I have substantial experience in representing clients before the IRS and assisting them in resolving their tax issues, including a determination of willful conduct, development of reasonable cause defense, requesting penalty abatement under applicable facts and circumstances, negotiating installment agreements and offers-in-compromise, and representing clients during IRS examination and on Appeals. In some situations, delinquent taxpayers may be concerned to reveal their factual background until they decide what is the best course of action. In those instances, having a discussion with a US tax attorney like myself may be especially beneficial due to the attorney-client privilege that attaches to any information that the client shares with me.
Remember, US tax attorneys and CPAs are not IRS agents and we do not work for the IRS. We are, however, subject to high professional responsibility standards and will not take frivolous positions, nor would we advise our clients to take such positions.We help our clients by defending their interests. My job is to help you understand your tax exposure and whether what you are doing is legal and is compliant with applicable tax laws, as well as to provide you with options to resolve your situation and to recommend what option, in my view, would serve you best. The decision on where to go from there is entirely yours. And as much as I may want you to take certain course of action, I will not do it for you. Again, the decision is yours and it is not reported anywhere.