Offshore Account Voluntary Disclosure Deadline Extended to Oct. 15

The IRS today extended the deadline for voluntary disclosures by taxpayers with unreported income from hidden offshore accounts from this Wednesday, Sept. 23, to Oct. 15. The IRS cautioned that there would be no further extensions.


The IRS said that tax practitioners had requested an extension because some are having trouble interviewing and advising the large number clients who have come to them for help. The deadline extension is designed to help taxpayers who “had intended to come forward prior to the deadline, but faced logistical and administrative challenges in meeting it,” according to the IRS.


The voluntary disclosure program was announced in March. Taxpayers making voluntary disclosures of offshore noncompliance under the program can avoid the foreign bank and financial account balance nondisclosure penalty provisions and other provisions pertaining to various information returns.


Taxpayers who have properly reported their taxable income but did not realize that they had an obligation to file Form TD 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), were also given until Sept. 23 to file all delinquent FBARs. It is unclear from the IRS announcement whether the Oct. 15 extension also applies to them.


The IRS subsequently updated its voluntary disclosure FAQ Web page to reflect (and the AICPA FBAR Task Force confirmed with the IRS) that even if no income is underreported and the voluntary disclosure process is not being used by a taxpayer, other relevant delinquent information returns covered by the voluntary disclosure FAQs (that is, FBARs noted in FAQ no. 9, and forms 3520 and 5471 noted in FAQ no. 42) also have an extended filing deadline of Oct. 15, 2009.


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