Re: Tax evasion
If someone has not reported a foreign bank account worth $12000 and if he does it now (and agrees to pay tax + 20% penalty for last 5 years - amounting to $200 or so).
Is this a high risk that IRS will intend to impose more punishment other than the 20% penalty?
Hmmm... I have written a book on this issue accessible over the internet having done over 100 offshore voluntary disclosures. Lawyer like answer - it depends!!
You cannot submit your own deal to the government in this scenario. If you enter into a 2012 OVDI you will be bound to the terms of that program.
Read about it here: http://www.klasing-associates.com/2012-offshore-voluntary-disclosure-initiative.html
The actual steps involved can be learned about here: http://www.klasing-associates.com/steps-to-participate-in-the-2012-offshore-voluntary-disclosure-i.html
If all of the income was reported on the foreign account but only the FBARS (TDF 90-22.1's) did not get filed you should look at Q17 relief which would be without penalties:
Taxpayers who have properly reported all taxable income but recently learned that he/she should have been filing FBARs in prior years to report a personal foreign bank account or to report signature authority over bank accounts owned by an employer.
Taxpayers who reported, and paid tax on, all their taxable income for prior years but did not file FBARs, should file the delinquent FBAR reports according to the instructions (send to Department of Treasury, Post Office Box 32621, Detroit, MI 48232-0621) and attach a statement explaining why the reports are filed late.
The IRS will not impose a penalty for the failure to file the delinquent FBARs if there are no underreported tax liabilities and you have not previously been contacted regarding an income tax examination or a request for delinquent returns.
The FBARS need to now be filed electronically - even for back years. This is an issue that you should seek legal consultation over...
You should read attorney Klasing's advice carefully. In addition to the tax and 20% accuracy penalty, you will pay an OVDP penalty of 27.5% of the highest balance in your account during the past eight years.
This is not intended to be legal advice, and is general in nature.