Voluntary Disclosure Program is an effective initiative of the IRS to encourage the individuals who haven’t previously disclosed or reported the true image of their financial standing in the past. Although the program doesn’t guarantee any immunity from civil or criminal prosecution, a voluntary disclosure by the party in question may result in lesser penalties or even not being prosecuted. If the IRS is building a case against you for non-disclosure of assets, now is the time to come clean as the option of voluntary disclosure expires once the legal proceeding starts.
Voluntary disclosure means that you provide a timely, complete, and truthful disclosure to IRS Criminal Investigation or CI. There is a formally designated procedure to follow for voluntary disclosure. Three features for voluntary disclosure present a guideline for you in this regard. Timely disclosure, as we discussed earlier, means that you disclose the concealed assets before legal proceedings.
Truthful disclosure is that you must provide the true details about assets, like the date of purchase of assets, etc. Complete disclosure means that taxpayers disclose everything that is yet to be reported. If you think you can disclose some of your concealed assets to mislead the IRS and get away with the remaining concealed assets, you are only fooling yourself.
To get the full advantages of Voluntary Disclosure Practice, a taxpayer must cooperate with the IRS to determine the correct, current tax liability
In addition to this, taxpayers must have made arrangements with the IRS in good faith to pay the tax in full, including interest and any penalties that may come with late disclosure.
A valid disclosure is a disclosure initiated by the taxpayer before the commencement of civil examination of the taxpayer’s wealth or criminal investigation for tax fraud. The disclosure made by third parties, such as media, government agency or whistleblower, etc., doesn’t count as a voluntary disclosure. The information surfaced as a result of a warrant, subpoena, etc. would also make voluntary disclosure irrelevant.
Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR)
In Indianapolis, the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) also encourages individuals and businesses to come forward voluntarily to request participation in a voluntary disclosure agreement (VDA) program.
The program is only valid for those individuals and businesses that do not have an obligation of a brick and mortar state tax filing in Indiana, either by leasing or owning property, including residence, office, warehouse, or plant.
This program, unlike the IRS, does provide some benefits in addition to safety from legal proceedings. A written voluntary disclosure agreement may decrease the look-back period for the assets in disclosure.
All the penalties may be reduced, and the program may avoid an unplanned audit by the state’s revenue department.
To get this program by Indiana DOR, individuals must never have filed tax returns in Indiana for this tax type nor have registered for the tax type in question.
You must remember that the above-mentioned programs are not linked, and if you get one program, it doesn’t mean that you are eligible for another. Similarly, an agreement doesn’t keep the other form proceeding against you.
The important thing is that you must come clean about your financial position before the IRS or Indiana DOR start civil or criminal proceedings against you.
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