Streamlined FBAR Offshore Reporting & Disclosure

When Taxpayers are out of compliance for not properly reporting their foreign bank and financial accounts to the Internal Revenue Service and FinCEN, they may qualify for the Streamlined Offshore Procedures (aka SDOP or SFOP) -- in order to safely get into offshoe tax and reporting compliance. While the FBAR is only one of the key components to the streamlined filing compliance procedures (Domestic or Offshore), it is not the only requirement. Still, since FBAR penalties are generally the worst of the bunch -- let’s take a look at some of the basics of Streamlined FBAR Filing.


When a Taxpayer submits to either the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures or the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures, they are required to submit previously delinquent or incorrect FBARs. While the Taxpayer includes only three (3) years of tax returns -- they are required to include six years of FBAR.


The Taxpayer should do their best to try to submit as accurate FBARs as they can. With that said, depending on the type of account; the age of the account, and whethe they have access to prior statements or not -- along with other bank or financial institution information they may or may not be able to access -- the Taxpayer may not
be able to obtain all the information. The US government is aware of this, which is why a Taxpayer can identify that the Maximum Account Value is "unknown." Even if some information is missing, the Taxpayer should usually move-foward with their streamlined submission (although they may want to consult with a specialist)


The Internal Revenue Service can discontinue the Streamlined Procedures at anytime. In recent years, the Internal Revenue Service has discontinued OVDP (although the traditional VDP was expanded) and also reworked (without any notice) the Delinquent International Information Return Submission Procedures (DIIRSP) -- and of course making it more difficult for Taxpayers to avoid penalties for previously undisclosed International repording forms. There have been rumblings that the IRS will be discontinuing the streamlined program soon, so that is something taxpayers to consider who have unreported or inaccurate FBARs.


If you missed overseas account, asset and income reporting in prior years, take a deep breath -- it is not as bad as some online scare-mongers want you to believe.

One important recommendation is to not take the quiet disclosure route (submitting to the IRS outside of the amnesty procedures). That is because if you get caught in a silent or quiet disclosure, it may lead to extensive fines and penalties. Instead, if you are inclined to get into compliance, consider one of the offshore voluntary tax amnesty programs listed below:

• Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures
• Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures
• Voluntary Disclosure Program
• Reasonable Cause
• DIIRSP (Modified on 11/2020)

Speak with Experienced Counsel

If you are out of compliance, you should speak with an experienced Attorney before making any affirmative representations or statements to the IRS.

IRS Voluntary Disclosure law is a specialty. In IRS offshore disclosure, experienced tax attorneys will have 20+ years of attorney experience, practice exclusively in International Tax Law, have earned a Board-Certification -- and advanced credentials such as an LL.M. and dual-licenses in tax and law.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Golding & Golding
Our Managing Partner, Sean M. Golding, is a 20+year Attorney and Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist (a distinction earned by less than 1% of attorneys nationwide). His team specializes exclusively in IRS Offshore & Voluntary Disclosure matters. They have assisted thousands of clients nationwide and across the globe.

Copyright Golding & Golding, Attorneys at Law

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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