The purpose of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) is to bring taxpayers that have used undisclosed foreign accounts and assets, including those held through undisclosed foreign entities, to avoid or evade tax into compliance with United States tax and related laws. Taxpayers holding undisclosed foreign accounts and assets, including those held through undisclosed foreign entities, should make a voluntary disclosure, as it enables them to become compliant, avoid substantial civil penalties and generally eliminate the risk of criminal prosecution for all issues relating to tax noncompliance and failing to file FBARs.
In contrast, taxpayers simply filing amended returns or filing through the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures do not eliminate the risk of criminal prosecution. Taxpayers who do not submit a voluntary disclosure run the risk of detection by the IRS and the imposition of substantial penalties, including the fraud penalty and foreign information return penalties, as well as an increased risk of criminal prosecution. The IRS remains actively engaged in identifying those with undisclosed foreign financial accounts and assets.