The IRS continued its efforts to encourage taxpayers with foreign financial accounts to participate in its voluntary disclosure program. As part of these efforts, the IRS posted a form letter on its website on July 29. The form letter, which is not mandatory, provides a helpful checklist of information that is required if a taxpayer wishes to participate in the voluntary disclosure program. In order to participate in the program, certain requirements must be met, and the submission must be made by September 23, 2009, as discussed in our prior Alerts: Recent IRS Guidance Gives Certain Investors in Foreign Private Investment Funds Breathing Room Until September 23, 2009 for Potential FBAR Filings, IRS Announcement Permits Use of Old Definition of "U.S. Person" for June 30, 2009 FBAR Filing.
The detailed inquiries on the form reduce the likelihood that a taxpayer might inadvertently omit required information. Information required on the form includes:
The form is filed under penalty of perjury, making it essential that the information provided is accurate. As noted above, use of the form is not mandatory. It should be emphasized that the form is within the context of a voluntary disclosure which, if accepted by the IRS, normally removes any criminal penalties from consideration. However, given the potential criminal context of such a disclosure, taxpayers who are eligible for the amnesty program are encouraged to consult with counsel in preparing their submission.