Much has been written about the collapse of Swiss banking secrecy and its ramifications for U.S. persons holding foreign financial accounts; now, with reports that Credit Suisse AG is being ordered by its regulators to turn over information on Americans with undeclared bank accounts, these individuals are being told by practitioners to run—not walk—to their nearest tax lawyer and enter the IRS voluntary disclosure program.
Certainly, this is sound advice for many people. In this article, Tom Zehnle and George Clarke discuss the numerous taxpayers for whom a voluntary disclosure strategy either will not work or will not be chosen. These individuals have received little guidance on what awaits them if, for whatever reason, they do not enter the IRS voluntary disclosure program. What happens if they are discovered by the U.S. authorities? Do they go directly to jail and not pass go? This more complicated scenario—one that has not garnered the attention it deserves—is the focus of this article.
This article also appeared in the BNA White Collar Crime Report.