Later today Roy Berg, a US tax lawyer from Moodys LLP Tax Advisors will appear on the CBC national radio program The World at Six and the CBC national television program The National. Mr. Berg will be interviewed regarding the Internal Revenue Service amnesty program for US Citizens and green card holders that expires on August 31. The amnesty program, also called the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI), allows those who have not filed their income tax returns and foreign bank account reports (FBAR) to bring their filings current in exchange for reduced civil and criminal penalties.
Mr. Berg says that the OVDI program is the last best chance for US Citizens or green card holders living in Canada to come clean and avoid particularly harsh penalties. According to Mr. Berg:
“Many Canadian residents didn’t even know about their US filing obligations and might not even owe US income taxes. However, the failure to file the foreign bank account report carries potentially ruinous consequences. The failure to file the FBAR, even though there is no tax due with this form, carries a minimum penalty of $10,000 per year per account, and can be substantively higher if the failure to file was willful. The OVDI program allows these individuals to come clean but ends on August 31.”
You can find out more about the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure initiative and FBAR filing requirements in our blog dated Monday, June 6, 2011.