Weekly Q&A

Q: What if my Previous Streamline Submission was Incomplete?

A: A false “Streamline” procedures submission could lead to a serious of penalties.  They may include charges under Internal Revenue Code’s section 7206(1) for filing a false document signed under penalty of perjury, under section 7212(a) for tax obstruction, under section 7201 for tax evasion. Each of these penalties are imposed independently and range from fines of $1,000-$100,000 and imprisonment from 1 to 5 years. It’s worth noting that section 7206(1) is not just for false tax returns, but applies to any materially false document signed under penalty of perjury if the filer knew that the document was false when signing it.  False assertion of non-willfulness on documents filed under penalty of perjury is an example of “classic” tax obstruction.

Tax evasion charges could be based on the false assertion as a new act of evasion, renewing the statute of limitations and increasing the number of tax years available for additional charges, even if the statute had otherwise expired.  This applies to both income tax returns and FBARS.

Don’t underestimate the amount of information that the US government has.  Ensure that you select a reputable and experienced cross-border tax accountant who can lead you through the “streamline” process and who can compile your previously omitted returns in the most accurate and complete fashion.