When large offshore accounts are involved, a person should deal with the IRS through an experienced attorney.
Orlando, FL (PRWEB) October 13, 2009
Last minute entry into the IRS Amnesty Program can still be accomplished. The Law Offices of Mark L. Horwitz, a criminal defense law firm in Florida, is representing people who reside in the United States and in other countries and helping them successfully walk through the IRS Amnesty Program. Attorney Mark L. Horwitz urges anyone with an unreported offshore account to avoid potential criminal prosecution by entering the IRS Amnesty Program before October 15, 2009.
Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Horwitz stated, "Even though the time is running out, an application to enter the Amnesty Program can still be made. The IRS will except an application over the phone before the end of day on October 15, 2009."
Entering and successfully completing the IRS Amnesty Program involves several factors, including timely application, cooperation with the IRS and filing amended tax returns and FBARs. Horwitz advised, "When large offshore accounts are involved, a person should deal with the IRS through an experienced attorney."
According to Attorney Mark Horwitz, the benefits of the IRS Amnesty Program become clear when compared to the criminal penalties that can result if the IRS learns of the offshore account through its own investigation. These penalties include:
1. Conviction of a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison for not filing the yearly form disclosing offshore accounts over $10,000.00. This form is known as an FBAR.
2. Conviction of tax evasion, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison for willfully not reporting the income on foreign accounts.
3. Conviction of willfully filing a false tax return, a felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison for false statements on the tax return relating to the offshore accounts and income earned on the accounts.
In addition to criminal prosecution, the civil penalties imposed if the IRS learns of an unreported offshore account with a balance over $10,000.00 are severe and are in addition to criminal penalties. The civil penalty for not filing the yearly FBAR disclosing the offshore account is 50% of the highest value of the account, every year that the FBAR is not filed. Civil penalties for failure to disclose the income earned on offshore accounts can range from 20% to 75%.
The IRS Amnesty Program allows a person to avoid the potential criminal prosecution and significantly reduce the civil penalties. An example of the civil penalties under the Amnesty Program compared to what would happen if the IRS discovers the offshore account reveals the benefit of the Amnesty Program. As an example, if the offshore account contains $1,000,000.00 and earned 5% per year from 2003 through 2008, the civil penalties and taxes on the earnings would be $386,000.00 plus interest under the Amnesty Program. Without the Amnesty Program the taxes and penalties would be $2,306,000.00 plus interest. This figure could be even more if the IRS imposed a fraud penalty on the unpaid taxes.
The IRS has been vigorously pursuing information on offshore accounts. The ongoing case by the United States against UBS is a primary example of this effort. While the time is short to enter the IRS Amnesty Program, it is not too late to act.
About The Law Offices Of Mark L. Horwitz, P.A.
With more than 30 years experience, Attorney Horwitz has extensive experience in providing legal representation for clients in the areas of tax evasion, mail and wire fraud criminal defense. Attorney Horwitz is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy and is certified as a Criminal Trial Specialist by The Florida Bar. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and listed in Best Lawyers in America, Horwitz's legal experience includes not only private practice, but also many years as an Assistant United States Attorney. Attorney Horwitz is a member of The Florida Bar, The Colorado Bar and The District of Columbia Bar. Please visit http://www.mlhorwitzlaw.com for more information about the IRS Amnesty Program and Orlando defense attorney Mark Horwitz.