The IRS Streamlined Procedures allow eligible taxpayers who failed to report gross income from foreign financial accounts on prior tax returns, failed to pay taxes on that gross income, and/or who failed to submit an FBAR disclosing foreign financial accounts, to voluntarily disclose their conduct to the IRS. These procedures require that the taxpayer sign under penalties of perjury a statement attesting to their non-willful conduct.
For taxpayer Brian Booker, the IRS Streamlined Procedures did not offer a solution but only more problems. According to the government, Booker operated a trading company from Venezuela, Panama, and from his former residence in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During the years 2011 through 2013, Booker failed to disclose his interest in financial accounts located in Switzerland, Singapore, and Panama on annual Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs). Booker also filed false individual income tax returns for tax years 2010 through 2012 that failed to report to the IRS all of Booker’s foreign bank accounts. Booker attempted to disclose his foreign accounts and activities pursuant to the IRS’ Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures. But the IRS didn’t buy his story. Now Booker has been indicted for his alleged false statements – namely his claims that he was not willful in his failure to report all income, pay all tax, and submit all required information returns, such as FBARs. A copy of the criminal indictment of Booker is linked here.
The lesson learned: there is still a formal IRS voluntary disclosure program available for taxpayers facing potential criminal prosecution. While such program may not offer the best outcome from a dollars and cents perspective, for some taxpayers, it offers something far more valuable: their liberty.
If you have any questions about this blog post, the IRS Streamlined Procedures, or the IRS’ voluntary disclosure program, please feel free to contact me at (214) 749-2464 or firstname.lastname@example.org.