Maybe we’ll get a lot more people joining our cause. If this article I ran across is any indication, some of these consultants must be scaring the pants off of the US mainlanders. “Failing to file the right documents could have dire consequences.” I’m not sure if it’s the writer of the article or if it’s the tax attorney who set out to scare them, but I bet it’s working.
I haven’t quoted the entire article here, but a few of the salient parts.
“Tax Attorney Offers Free Webinar to Explain IRS’ New FATCA Law and Help Overseas Investors Understand Their Legal Rights
Tens of thousands of US citizens and permanent residents who for years have been enjoying the advantages of off-shore bank accounts without the tax ramifications are now being squeezed out of anonymity and into the spotlight, thanks to the IRS’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
The Amnesty Program offers affected taxpayers a way to fix their situation while avoiding potentially worse financial exposure and even possible jail time. The program includes five important components:
1. The taxpayer must file up to 8 years of amended tax returns on the overseas account
2. The taxpayer must pay taxes on the omitted income
3. The taxpayer must pay a 20% “accuracy penalty” on the taxes due
4. The taxpayer must pay interest on the unpaid taxes
5. The taxpayer must pay a penalty equal to 27.5% of the highest bank account balance and other asset values
This is my personal favourite, quoting the tax attorney Lehman. “Thankfully, congress has been intelligent enough to make sure we do not have thousands of tax criminals by providing a path to cleansing the tax past via the tax Amnesty Program.”
I hope they find us and join us, after all, misery does love company, and I’m pretty darn miserable about it, so I’m looking for company.