Silent or Quiet Disclosure of Offshore Accounts

Woman looking at financial documents

The IRS has warned taxpayers that any "quiet" or "silent" voluntary disclosure of an offshore account, in an attempt to avoid either the first or second voluntary disclosure programs, would not be considered to be a valid voluntary disclosure, and might be subject to criminal treatment. Apparently, in an effort to show that it is serious, on May 19, 2011 the government filed it's first criminal prosecution of a taxpayer who made such a silent disclosure (a silent disclosure is parlance among tax practitioners for a taxpayer who simply files the return through normal filing procedures, as opposed to participating in these programs). The defendant was a Mr. Schiavo. The defendant, according to press reports, entered into a plea agreement and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 31, 2012 (see 2011 WTD 98-43, 2011 WTD 99-36).