IRS Practice and Procedure Change: Voluntary Compliance Programs

On Jan. 9, 2012, the IRS provided another opportunity for taxpayers to disclose previously unreported offshore accounts: the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). OVDP is the third voluntary foreign bank account reporting (FBAR) program from the IRS in four years. This program required correction of eight years of returns and payment of a computed penalty. Unlike prior FBAR initiatives, the 2012 OVDP has no expiration date.

In 2012, the IRS also focused on worker misclassification in audits and voluntary compliance programs. In December 2012, the IRS announced a revision to its current Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) that allows employers to voluntarily change the prospective classification of their workers (switch the workers from independent contractors to employees). This VCSP temporary eligibility expansion removes several previous qualification requirements, including strict Form 1099 filing compliance, and is available through June 30, 2013.

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