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[Emotionally] Surviving an IRS Audit: Tips From the Trenches

A dreaded audit has come your way, and naturally, you’re freaking out. Panic is normal but will do you little good as you attempt to restore order to your life. Follow these suggestions to minimize the emotional burden of this ordeal: Determine Your Options Sometimes, the bulk of your IRS-induced anxiety involves a pure lack […]

The Pros and Cons of Streamlined Program vs. OVDP

You face a challenging financial situation. You want a reprieve—a clean slate. Both streamlined programs and the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) may be able to help. What are these options? How do they compare to one another? Which should you choose? The Pros and Cons of OVDP Are you worried about criminal prosecution because […]

Differences Between the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the IRS

Do you understand the differences between the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the IRS? If not, you’re not alone. Let’s clear up your confusion about these two very closely associated components of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. FinCEN The primary function of FinCEN is to protect the U.S. financial system from any improper […]

What You Need to Know About the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

Is the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) right for you? Here’s a crash course to help you make sense of your options. Purpose The OVDP offers a reprieve for taxpayers with foreign financial accounts who have been willfully noncompliant in reporting. Those who qualify can avoid criminal prosecution and civil penalties. Eligibility According to the […]

FBAR Filing Requirements You Do Not Want to Ignore

Do you have overseas financial interest or assets worth $10,000 or more? If the answer is yes, you probably need to file an annual report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Fail to do this, and you may face serious civil and even criminal penalties. The late filing doesn’t mean the IRS will immediately […]

Do You Need to File an FBAR?

Tax season beckons. Like too many Americans, you’re worried and confused. Do you need to file an FBAR in addition to your standard state and federal income taxes? Let’s clear this up, so you can relax and avoid trouble. According to the IRS, the United States “persons” are obligated to file an FBAR if: You […]

Can Filing an FBAR Trigger an Audit?

You’re planning to file an FBAR (Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts). Will this action automatically get you audited by the IRS? Short answer: no. However, not filing an FBAR may increase the risk of an audit. Here’s what you need to know. What Actually Triggers IRS Action? The possibility of an IRS audit […]

FBAR Audit—What Criminal Charges Could You Face?

In criminal cases, penalties often depend sensitively on questions of intent. Did you willfully commit a crime… or just make an error or omission? In the context of FBAR (Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) auditing, authorities want to know whether you intentionally opted not to share information about your foreign accounts and assets. […]

Preparing for an IRS Audit When Your Records Are a Mess

Nothing may make your heart pound and your head throb like the notice of an IRS audit. Even if you know the precise location of every form, receipt, and file folder, an audit can have negative financial implications that affect you for years to come. But what if your tax records are in less than […]

IRS Audit Risk Is Decreasing, But What If You’re in the Unlucky Few?

This time of year, most Americans are gathering income statements and preparing to file their returns. The good news for both businesses and individuals is that the risk of being audited is low and continues to drop. Last year, the number of people and organizations the IRS audited dropped again—to just over one million. However, […]