On July 19, 2019, the IRS Large Business and International Division (LB&I) announced the approval of additional compliance campaigns, including ones on taxpayers who participated in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and United States taxpayers who expatriated.
With respect to Post-OVDP Compliance, John Cardone, director of Withholding & International Individual Compliance, is in charge. The campaign observes that U.S. persons are subject to tax on worldwide income. This campaign addresses tax noncompliance related to former OVDP taxpayers’ failure to remain compliant with their foreign income and asset reporting requirements. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a list of all the participants in the OVDP. The IRS will address tax noncompliance through soft letters and examinations.
A second area are persons who have expatriated or surrendered their U.S. citizenship or residency. Cardone is also in charge of this campaign. The announcement notes that U.S. citizens and long-term residents (lawful permanent residents in eight out of the last 15 taxable years) who expatriated on or after June 17, 2008, may not have met their filing requirements or tax obligations. The IRS will address noncompliance through a variety of treatment streams, including outreach, soft letters, and examination.
The IRS intends to find taxpayers who used the OVDP, but have since fallen out of compliance. The agency will use its audit-based tools in order to bring them back into compliance. Since the IRS has the communication points for the taxpayers who participated in the OVDP, the IRS should not have difficulty communicating with them.
Since the taxpayers had to admit wrongdoing in order to participate in the OVDP and pledged to be compliant in the future, any audits done by the IRS would have potentially significant risks for taxpayers who are found to not be in compliance again. The IRS may conclude that the post-OVDP non-compliance arises from some sort of willful intent to evade taxes or report obligations.
Another risk is that, while the penalties of the prior OVDPs kept increasing, now taxpayers not in compliance no longer have potential to resort to the lower penalties of the OVDPs.
Another category targeted is High Income Non-filers. Cardone is also in charge of this project. The project description notes U.S. citizens and resident aliens are subject to tax on worldwide income. Taxpayers must file and pay worldwide tax on income, whether or not they receive a Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement, a Form 1099 (Information Return), or its foreign equivalents. Through an examination treatment stream, this campaign will focus on bringing those taxpayers who have not filed tax returns into compliance.