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Gary Bode, CPA is a Master's Degreed, nation wide accountant offering tax and business services. Member of AICPA and NCACPA. Our virtual office provides excellent service to long distance and international clients. Call (910) 399-2705 for a free phone consult.

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avatar"Gary Bode has just completed our tax returns for the first time and I am totally satisfied with his level of service. He has been very attentive, asked all the right questions, and not only fixed some problems from our previous accountant, but also set us up for future success through a thorough and professional analysis of our corporate structure in conjunction with several personal variables.

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Tabor Foods, LLC

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OVDI CPA discusses FATCA Implementation | is the OVDI program a bluff?

OVDI CPA 2012 Wilmington NC discusses FATCA

Gary Bode, CPA: The IRS director is a shrewd poker player. For a free phone consult call (910) 399-2705.

In 2012 the IRS rolled out the third version of OVDI, Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative. OVDI CPAs, like myself, continually speculate on the best way to approach compliance; opt out, soft disclosure, etc. Many clients seem to approach OVDI as a poker game. Read my postings on OVDI to see my continued interest in this program.

But today I want to relay the findings of a Thompson Reuter report on how far FATCA hasn’t come. I’m not advocating any taxpayer to defy the law. OVDI, even with its vagaries, is a good program. I just think the IRS director is a shrewd poker player.

FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) is the “stick” component of the OVDI “carrot and stick” approach. The IRS implies FATCA will catch undisclosed foreign banking transactions. This eventually exposes the taxpayer to higher penalties and even criminal charges if they don’t comply now.

FATCA implementation is set for 2013. But the rules aren’t even finalized yet.

Foreign banks have expressed complaints about their expected compliance costs. Foreign banks have expressed outrage at the US Treasury making demands on them. And, according to the Thompson Reuter’s report, most foreign banks haven’t even set aside a budget for compliance yet. There are foreign banks and there are foreign banks. I think some countries will cave in to IRS demands, some won’t. Some will provide partial information when forced to. Others, hoping to become the new Switzerland or Cayman Islands, may refuse. Some foreign banks won’t have records extending back to OVDI timelines. Some banks may not report transactions beneath some limit.

As a CPA, I keep clients compliant with the tax requirements. I believe the IRS will eventually know the bulk of foreign banking transactions for American taxpayers. But even so, I can’t help notice that what the IRS says it will do isn’t what they can do. And they don’t treat every violation equally; they seem to go after the big fish. I believe they will criminally pursue some violators. But they probably will never get information from some countries. Informational delays are inevitable. In my experience as an OVDI CPA, potential clients treat this cat and mouse game with poker-like evaluations. And the IRS director may be bluffing, at least on this hand.

I’m an OVDI CPA with a remote/virtual office for clients outside my Wilmington NC base. For a free phone consult, please call (910) 399-2705.

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