The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Fight in Curbing Offshore Tax Evasion using the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) Strategy
The RS Pressure
The RS has been under intense pressure to combat the impacts of tax evasion for the last decade now. As a result, the IRS has recently come up with effective concepts to help minimize the occurrence of John Doe bank accounts in foreign countries that have vital ties to the United States. The strategy that was developed; OVDI, has been effective but, keeps changing with the elapsing of each financial year. For example, its third update was in 2016, where the concept changed to OVDP (Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Procedure). There is no massive difference between OVDP and OVDI since the objective of both concepts is to encourage members of the public who hold private accounts with foreign banks to step forth in full disclosure (De Simone, Lester, & Markle, 2018). The idea is to ensure that the IRS brings all the holders of these private accounts up to speed with the penalties, tax evasion charges and penalties from Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBAR). Over the past few months, the IRS has decided to widen the scope of OVDP since the menace that the UBS story caused. The Supreme Court of the United States issued exclusive permission to the IRS operation requiring full disclosure of all private accounts, to heighten punitive measures against foreign banks account holders who are not willing to come forth with their secret accounts. Fresh research equally indicates that in the recent John Doe summons by IRS, this bureau prevailed upon Coinbase Incorporation to embrace the fact that virtual funds are like ghost partners whose activities, role and contribution in the growth and development of an organization cannot be estimated. Instead, the IRS insists that virtual money should be regarded as property rather than a privilege of evading taxation standards.
IRS and the (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) FATCA Rules
Following the strict rules and regulation regarding foreign accounts and assets, the IRS initiated the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in 2010. The core purpose of this new development was to provide a deeper insight into the legal requirements that foreign account holders need to comply with to avoid punitive action from the IRS. Form 8938 of the FATCA states clearly that United States citizens who reside in foreign countries will get better treatment by complying with FATCA rules and regulation since both countries stand to gain in different economic perspectives.
Developments in the FATCA strategy in 2013 limited asset valuation to respective domestic entities as outlined deeper in the report (McKay, 2018). These exclusions permitted foreign account and asset holder the power to avoid filling form 8938 if they have the full income tax return report for the whole year. Other than that, the act further elaborates the major differences that exist between foreign taxpayers and those living in the United States. The major difference occurred in the procedure of reporting the thresholds involved. For example, foreign taxpayers are required to fill form 8938 and the full income tax return report. On the other side, if one is a native United States citizen, he or she will fill form 8938 in light with two marital status: married and unmarried.
The best aspect of the FATCA initiative is that it permitted the exclusion of other relatively influential assets and accounts. For example, foreign investment companies, retirement benefit plans, as well as foreign trusts. However, the IRS is very clear on violating the terms and conditions of the FATCA initiative. A penalty of up to $10,000 for failing to file is applicable to any foreign account holder who violates any of the FATCA rules and regulations.
De Simone, L., Lester, R., & Markle, K. (2018). Transparency and Tax Evasion: Evidence from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
McKay, S. (2018). The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act: A Constitutional Analysis.
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