Hurricane Irene Extends OVDI Deadline to September 9, 2011
The eye of Hurricane Irene is approaching New York City. At approximately 7:00PM (just under an hour from the writing of this post), the strong bands of rain are expected to arrive, and continue throughout the night into tomorrow.
Fortunately, I live in a “no zone.” This means that, according to folks at the Mayor’s office who put this map together, I face a strong threat of flooding only if the hurricane becomes a category 3 or 4, which appears very unlikely. Unfortunately a close colleague of mine lives in Zone A. Residents of Zone A were required to evacuate their homes by 5:00PM today. As unhappy as he was with having to take his four kids elsewhere, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Representing taxpayers who are participating in the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative, I was concerned with some clients not timely meeting the August 31 deadline if required documents were not in transit to the IRS before I left the office yesterday. I can’t assume that roads will be drivable on Monday or that the NYC subway system will resume operations by then. So I decided to work late and wrap up OVDI matters, in order to be safe than sorry.
So, it turns out I’m not the only one concerned about this. The IRS is too. Yesterday, the IRS announced that the due date for offshore voluntary disclosure requests has been extended to September 9, 2011, due to Hurricane Irene.
The cynic interprets this announcement as a last-ditch effort to publicize the program. Although that motive may be at play here, the bottom line is that taxpayers who waited until the last opportunity to participate in the program were just given some more time, courtesy of the IRS. And taxpayers with undisclosed foreign accounts should strongly consider doing so.