I have been in contact with an Indian Immigrant living on U.S. shores who has had the unfortunate experience of joining the OVDP to correct past form filing errors. I have been asked to solicit help from any Tax Practitioner or OVDP graduate. She is looking for examples from previous OVDP victims where funds have been excluded from the penalty base. This is to help bolster her argument that the OVDP penalty does not fit the benign failure.
This post appeared on the RenounceUScitizenship blog.
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) August 30, 2013
The title of article by Lynnley Browning is:
“Swiss on agree on penalties for banks that aided tax cheats”
A review of the article suggests that the U.S. government is attempting to impose on Swiss Banks a program that is like the “OVDI-OVDP” program.
I have received an okay to publish these notes from the Speaker of Part 2 of the meeting that was held in Toronto on June 15. I apologize that they are not in narrative form; I don’t have total memory of all that was said nor did I understand everything that was said and I fear giving the wrong impression if I were to attempt to elaborate. Hopefully, the general sense is correct. I wanted to do them as a separate post so that more might see them; it seems less people will benefit if they were buried as comments only. Many ideas were remembered by commentors on the original post but there are some important ideas that need to come out. The Speaker did an excellent job outlining and organizing a lot of information that many will need as they try to figure out what to do about their own situation. Also, I did not take any notes on the first session as it was my understanding that it was to be completely private and I thought it would be inappropriate for me to do so.
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) July 27, 2013
This is a must read for anybody considering cleaning up past problems. Anybody who is still thinking of entering OVDP should think long and hard. This thoughtful post ends with:
While FATCA creeps toward the starting gate, there appears to be scant progress on two fronts sorely in need of attention: (1) the plight of Americans abroad whose local bank is no more a “foreign financial institution” to them than the corner McDonalds is an English fish and chips joint to us, and (2) the hapless recent immigrant who was never told in citizenship class that as American taxpayers, they now had to register their worldwide assets with Uncle Sam in addition to report the income. The collateral damage of these two unintended FATCA consequences, particularly the former, account for the bulk of the internet chatter on this example of the gross tax injustice FATCA on Americans abroad.
The problem seems to be that of the five to seven million estimated Americans living abroad, few seem to vote. Add that to a Congress which for all practical purposes is frozen in place with no effective direction and leadership and the result is a broad based sense of frustration and disdain. Unfortunately there appears to be little hope any time soon of any attention to this problem.
Thanks to Bubblebustin for discovering:
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) July 11, 2013
This really is a must read. If Taxpayer Advocate is critical of the IRS creation, administration and “execution” (pun intended) of the voluntary disclosure programs who wouldn’t be? Thanks to the work of Just Me, NotThatLisa, Moby and more we have learned a great deal about the “nuts and bolts”, “continued injustices” and confiscatory nature of the programs. We are also being introduced to a certain breed of lawyer who clearly is NOT working in the interests of the client. Those lawyers who automatically (without taking the time to completely understand the facts) put people into OVDP are committing ethical violations. The tragedy is that there are a number of them out there.
Those who are NOT Twitterliterate will find the report here:
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) June 13, 2013
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) June 14, 2013
The second tweet references a very interesting post by Roy Berg.
What’s the big deal?
What is a “quiet disclosure”?
There is a good article on The Hill about the complaints that are being directed to Republican Lawmakers about IRS abuse. Apparently, or so it says, Democrat’s are not getting the same feed back.
While both parties have criticized the IRS’s actions, it has mostly been Republicans reporting possible wider abuses.
Asked whether her office had received a wave of allegations of greater IRS abuse, Hannah Kim, communications director for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) said: “Not that I know of,” in an email to The Hill.
Maybe we should help change that!
There is the link to the article, and you will note some comments by Roger that drew my attention to the story. It was originally posted here, and I am pulling out for higher level visibility. A few comments below:
David Kestenbaum who writes for NRP’s Planet Money will be airing a story tonight on NPR’s “All Things Considered” based upon interviews he has done with people that have joined the IRS OVDP / OVDI starting back in 2009. I was one of several that he interviewed including some others who have posted here at IBS like @NotThatLisa and @Moby. At least that is my understanding.
It will air tonight across the nation starting on the East Coast in the 4:00pm – 6:30pm time slot, and will be available on the May 10th, Friday show online here. Continue reading
On Friday, the Government Accountability Office released a new Report to Congressional Requesters on “Offshore Tax Evasion”, which warns that the “IRS Has Collected Billions of Dollars, but May be Missing Continued Evasion”. It provides more in-depth information about the characteristics of OVDP participants, and also reveals some details about the treatment of (and government attitude towards) people who make quiet disclosures.
For those U.S. Persons abroad too busy or in too good a mood to deal with the depressing drudgery of being insulted by the GAO for seventy-two pages, Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press
releases has helpfully regurgitated the contents of the report and all its fallacious assumptions, without bothering to commit any actual journalism such as, you know, interviewing actual “offshore” voluntary disclosure participants who have been well and truly screwed for daring to save where they live (as Amy Feldman did back in 2011), or breaking down some of the appalling statistics in the report.