The IRS tax amnesty deadline for Americans who have taxable foreign assets has been extended beyond the previous September 23, 2009 deadline. Find out the latest developments here pertaining to taxpayers with offshore accounts.
First, some background. Due to a settlement between the IRS and the Swiss bank UBS, the bank agreed to disclose the names of more than 4,450 U.S. customers to the IRS. As part of the settlement, the bank was required to pay a $780 million fine for its role in helping tax evaders. In the initial lawsuit, the IRS sought the names of 52,000 customers allegedly holding, collectively, an estimated $14 billion of taxable assets.
Additionally, as Reuters reports, the IRS is querying other foreign banks, in an effort to find tax evaders, although not naming the banks by name.
According to the New York Times, the new deadline is October 15, 2009 for tax evaders. Those who do not voluntarily come forward under the amnesty program face prosecution. Known also as the voluntary disclosure program, it began in March 2009 as a way to get tax evaders to come forward. To date, according to officials quoted in the article, 3,000 people have taken part in the program, compared to 80 in the previous year.
The newspaper further reports that those who come forward will face a reduced penalty, of 5 to 20 percent and that they will face this penalty only once, on the highest balance in the accounts over the past six years.
That is the latest word on the tax amnesty deadline, now extended to October 15.