The IRS has posted to its Web site a three-page “optional format” short form for taxpayers to use when applying for the Voluntary Disclosure Program. The form asks taxpayers to estimate the annual highest aggregate value for their offshore accounts or assets for the years 2003–2008. It also requires them to list estimated total unreported income from offshore accounts for each of those years.
For accounts or assets for which the taxpayer has control or is a beneficial owner, the form requires taxpayers to list any and all financial institutions and the country where the institution is located. Taxpayers must also explain the purpose for establishing the offshore account and list each person or entity affiliated with the account.
Affected taxpayers have until Sept. 23 to apply to participate in the Voluntary Disclosure Program. Under the program, taxpayers making voluntary disclosures of offshore noncompliance can avoid the foreign bank and financial account balance nondisclosure penalty provisions and other provisions pertaining to various information returns. The IRS has published local phone numbers in 50 states and 9 foreign countries that taxpayers can use to contact the IRS about voluntary disclosure.