IRS Updates Streamlined Offshore Compliance Procedures

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

From the IRS

The IRS updated its streamlined offshore compliance procedures and issued new frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the procedures. The streamlined offshore compliance procedures are for taxpayers whose failure to comply with requirements to report offshore assets is nonwillful and are designed to allow these taxpayers to become tax compliant with reduced or no penalties. There are separate procedures for taxpayers residing in the United States and taxpayers residing outside the United States .

Among the clarifications made by the FAQs are:

  • The 5% miscellaneous offshore penalty for nonwillful violations is not intended to apply to foreign financial assets in which the taxpayer has no personal financial interest or only a partial interest (e.g., accounts over which the taxpayer has only signature authority).
  • Any asset (tax compliant or noncompliant) that was not reportable on either FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), or Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets , is not included in the penalty base for the streamlined domestic offshore procedures.
  • Nonresidency for purposes of the streamlined foreign offshore procedures is defined in those procedures and not in Sec. 911 and its regulations.

The FAQs on the streamlined filing compliance procedures for U.S. taxpayers residing in the United States are available here , and the FAQs for the streamlined filing compliance procedures for U.S. taxpayers residing outside the United States are available here.

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