Streamlined Filings and Voluntary Disclosures
Freeman’s international and criminal tax counsel have advised hundreds of taxpayers in streamlined filings and voluntary disclosures. With highly decorated tax attorneys and multiple dual-credentialed attorney-CPAs, we are positioned to help clients navigate the high-stakes world of international tax penalties while preserving the attorney-client privilege.
- Attorneys in Freeman’s tax controversy and litigation practice have been named to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America list, recognized by Chambers & Partners as among the leading tax and litigation attorneys in the United States, and recognized as the “Leading Tax Controversy Litigation Attorney of the Year” for the State of Texas.
- Our tax litigation attorneys include former IRS trial attorneys, former clerks to the Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court, tax law professors, dual-credentialed CPAs, and attorneys with advanced LL.M. tax degrees from the most prestigious tax programs in the nation.
- Freeman’s tax attorneys have extensive trial experience litigating major tax disputes.
Streamlined Asset Disclosures and Voluntary Disclosures
Our tax litigation practice has a national and international reputation for resolving high-stakes, complex tax matters, including through the strategic use of IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure submissions and voluntary disclosures. We often utilize the Streamlined filing process to minimize or eliminate international tax and FBAR penalties. Likewise, where appropriate, we utilize the voluntary disclosure process to mitigate and remove criminal tax exposure, particularly with respect to tax fraud and international tax reporting failures.
Our focus on rectifying complex international reporting deficiencies is one reason that Freeman is known as the firm that clients seek out when the stakes are high and the issues are complex.
A Tradition of Successfully Guiding Clients through Streamlined Filings and Voluntary Disclosures
Best Lawyers® and U.S. News & World Report have recognized Freeman as a “Tier 1” Tax Law firm and our tax attorneys have garnered national recognition for their tax litigation work, such as:
- The “Leading Tax Controversy Litigation Attorney of the Year” for the State of Texas;
- U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Lawyers in America;
- The Best Lawyers in America®, Chambers USA.
Consistent with this recognition of our tax litigation practice, Freeman hosts the world’s largest international tax conference, focusing heavily on civil and criminal tax litigation developments in the United States and internationally. We also provide an intensive Tax Court preparation course, training tax attorneys across the nation for the Tax Court’s bar examination and providing tax advocacy and litigation skills.
Along with our reputation for integrity and sophistication, we maintain close working relationships with federal and state tax authorities, due in large part to our extensive tax knowledge and reputation for persuasive advocacy.
The Realities of International Tax Reporting
Globalization is a fact of life in our modern economy, and cross-border activities have become the norm, not the exception. We provide experienced counsel with respect to international and offshore tax compliance, helping clients understand and fix compliant issues with the tax reporting requirements that stem from holding foreign assets; engaging in inbound and outbound cross-border transactions; maintaining ongoing business operations in foreign countries; and various other international complexities.
With recent legal developments such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and the expansion of Information Exchange Agreements among countries around the world, the flow of information and reporting to the IRS and the coordinated enforcement by taxing authorities has never been greater. For many, that means that the risks of non-compliance have never been more real. Freeman Law can help businesses and individuals manage these critical tax risks and make sense of complex international tax compliance rules.
We assist clients with international information return compliance and penalties, including:
- Form 5471, Information Return of U.S. Persons with Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations
- Form 5472, Information Return of a 25% Foreign-Owned U.S. Corporation or a Foreign Corporation Engaged in a U.S. Trade or Business
- Form 8938 Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets
- IRS Form 3520 Reporting Transactions with Foreign Trusts and the Receipt of Foreign Gifts
- Form 3520-A, Information Return of Foreign Trusts With a U.S. Owner
- Form 926, Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation
- Form 8865, U.S. Persons and Foreign Partnerships
Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures: Who Qualifies?
To qualify for the IRS’ Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures (either Domestic or Foreign), taxpayers must meet the following initial requirements:
- The taxpayer must be an individual taxpayer or an estate of an individual taxpayer.
- The taxpayer must certify in a narrative under penalties of perjury that the conduct was not willful. The relevant conduct requiring certification relates to not only the failure to report income and/or pay tax, but also to submit all required information returns, including FBARs (e., FinCEN Form 114).
- The IRS must not have initiated a civil and/or criminal investigation of the taxpayer for any tax year.
- The taxpayer must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (e., TIN).
For streamlined filings under the IRS’ Domestic procedure, the taxpayer must also meet the following requirements:
- The taxpayer must fail to meet the applicable non-residency requirement described below in the Foreign filing procedures (if the taxpayer is married and a joint filer, one or both of the spouses must fail to meet the applicable non-residency requirement discussed below in the Foreign filing procedures);
- The taxpayer must have filed a U.S. tax return for each of the most recent 3 years for which the tax return due date has passed; and
- The taxpayer must have failed to report gross income from a foreign financial asset and pay tax as required by U.S. law in addition to FBARs and international information returns (g., Forms 3520, 3520-A, 5471, 5472, 8938, 926, and 8621).
For streamlined filings under the IRS’ Foreign filing procedures, the taxpayer must also meet the following requirements:
- The taxpayer must meet the non-residency requirement (if the taxpayer is married, both spouses must meet the non-residency requirement); and
- The taxpayer must have failed to report the income from a foreign financial asset and pay tax as required by law in addition to FBARs and other international information returns.