The IRS is currently running a “Voluntary Disclosure Opportunity” that expires October 15, 2009.

You have likely heard reference to this amnesty event in the context of allowing those with “secret” offshore accounts (see my other posts on this amateur practice) to report them and get square with the tax man – but there are many other situations that require reporting and which are often intentionally or accidentally overlooked – be sure you and your clients are fully aware.

If any of the following situations apply in your case, make sure that you file proper forms to report these transactions and if required declare income prior to the extended deadline of October 15, 2009 in order to avoid severe and harsh penalties including criminal penalties:

1. Do you have a foreign bank account including a security account, credit
card account etc outside the United States that you did not report as
required by law?

2. Do you have unreported income from a foreign country?

3. Do you own any unreported foreign entities such as corporations, trusts,
partnerships or disregarded entities?

4. Do you own Mexican real estate through Mexican Bank Trusts?

5. Do you have rental income from property outside the United

6. Did you receive unreported inheritance from outside United States?

7. Are you a beneficiary in any trust formed in foreign jurisdiction? Did
you receive any unreported distribution from the trust?

8. Have you sent money outside United States by way of loan, equity etc in
last few years and not reported it to the IRS?

If any of the above situations apply to you, please contact professional accounting help as soon as possible so that they can help you – Penalties will be exceptionally harsh after October 15, 2009.

My thanks to Pallav Acharya, CPA, FCA, CIM of CPA global Tax & Accounting
for this list. Phone: (480) 889-8949 – Pallav is in Scottsdale, AZ and works with clients all over on international taxation issues.

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