The IRS never contacted me. Should I still file a tax return?
Even though you have never been contacted by the IRS, you may still be required to file a U.S. tax return. Not filing because the IRS is unaware of your filing requirement is not a sensible approach. You are liable for various penalties and even criminal prosecution in case the IRS is informed about your non-compliance.
The IRS recognizes that taxpayers who were previously unaware of their tax filing obligations would now like to become tax compliant. Depending on your personal facts and circumstances, you may qualify for one of the two programs specifically designed by the IRS for taxpayers who would like to get current with their tax returns.
Under the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), taxpayers who cannot certify that their non-compliance is due to non-willful conduct, may reduce their penalties. The program offers clear benefits to encourage taxpayers to disclose foreign financial assets now rather than risk detection by the IRS and possible criminal prosecution. Please note that even though the program is open-ended, the IRS may end the program at any time in the future.
The Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures are available to taxpayers certifying that their failure to report foreign financial assets and pay all tax due in respect of those assets did not result from willful conduct on their part.
We strongly recommend that you become compliant as soon as possible. Please contact us with any questions you may have. Our tax professionals have helped many U.S. taxpayers become compliant.