IRS Announces End of Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

IRS Announces End of Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

On March 13, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") announced that the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program ("OVDP") will end on September 28, 2018. The program has allowed taxpayers to avoid criminal prosecution by disclosing their unreported offshore activities, filing amended tax returns, and paying tax with reduced penalties. A separate program—the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures—was introduced in 2012 for taxpayers who were unaware of their filing obligations and will remain available to eligible taxpayers.

While the OVDP is ending, the Department of Justice and IRS have made clear that taxpayers will continue to be prosecuted for criminal violations: "The IRS remains actively engaged in ferreting out the identities of those with undisclosed foreign accounts with the use of information resources and increased data analytics … Stopping offshore tax noncompliance remains a top priority of the IRS." The IRS has access to an enormous amount of information from ongoing investigations, disclosures made by Swiss banks under a DOJ program, disclosures under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, whistleblowers, tens of thousands of individual voluntary disclosures, and leaks from insiders, such as the Panama and Paradise Papers.          

The IRS's announcement acts as reminder of reporting obligations for U.S. taxpayers, including: 

  • Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), for foreign financial accounts that contain more than $10,000 in the aggregate;
  • Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, for foreign assets above a certain thresholds;
  • Form 3520, Annual Return to Report Transactions with Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts, for certain foreign gifts; and
  • Form 5471, Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporation, for certain foreign entities.
  • Those potentially impacted by the September 28, 2018, deadline should take immediate steps to assess and address any past noncompliance.  

Lawyer Contacts 

For further information, please contact your principal Firm representative or one of the lawyers listed below. General email messages may be sent using our "Contact Us" form, which can be found at

Kathryn Keneally
New York

Frank J. Jackson
New York

Sergio O. Alvarez-Mena

Michael J. Scarduzio
New York

Jones Day publications should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only and may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication or proceeding without the prior written consent of the Firm, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request reprint permission for any of our publications, please use our "Contact Us" form, which can be found on our website at The mailing of this publication is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The views set forth herein are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Firm.