Friday, March 11, 2011

IRS offers information on offshore tax amnesty program in eight new languages

The IRS has released information on its 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative in several languages, following requests from taxpayers and tax professionals to make the program more accessible to persons who primarily speak non-English languages.

Information on the new amnesty program is now available in Chinese (traditional and simplified), Farsi, German, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The program creates an incentive for persons owing taxes to the IRS on hidden offshore accounts to come forward and pay their fines, by offering amnesty from some of the harsher penalties that could be applied.

A similar version of this program was offered last year and resulted in thousands of self-disclosures. This current program is less forgiving of tax cheats than the first iteration, but still offers ample motivation for persons guilty of offshore tax fraud to pay their fines and forgo potentially harsher punishment.