Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Varnum Tax Attorneys Feel the Impact of New IRS Settlement Offer

Tax attorneys from the Law Offices of Varnum recently published a press release on the impact the IRS’s new settlement offer is putting on their business. Check out a portion of the release below, or you can read the full text here.

Varnum tax attorneys are taking calls and client engagements, due to IRS offers of settlement with offshore income, as overseas banks begin to turn over tens of thousands of names and account information to the IRS.

Paul L.B. McKenney, who specializes in federal taxation for Varnum, said between phones calls, “We are stressing to most of the callers two points: first, the IRS settlement penalty of a onetime 20% of account balance versus up to 50% per year is a great deal. Second, you better bite-the-bullet because it is only a matter of time before the IRS receives the investor’s names and other identifying information. If you do not take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime offer, you will likely face criminal prosecution at some point and it will not be in a Martha Stewart federal facility.”

The tax group received numerous inquiries as countries started turning over US taxpayer account numbers and records over the past few months. But the “Last Chance Compliance Initiative”, just announced by the IRS, has really increased the number of calls into Varnum offices.

McKenney went on to say, "Those that have not disclosed the accounts and not claimed the interest or investment income of these overseas accounts better understand the wording of the IRS agreement before they sign on the dotted line. Phrases like, "fully cooperate with the IRS both civilly and criminally," sound simple but mean much more. So before you go in to meet with the IRS, you should see a good tax attorney. "

The IRS settlement offer is good for six months. Varnum strongly suggests that those who have not been reporting taxable income heed the advice of the IRS Commissioner, Doug Shulman, when warned that for those, “who continue to hide their heads in the sand, the situation will only become more dire.”

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