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Foreign tax amnesty extended

By Kay Bell ·
Friday, August 26, 2011
Posted: 4 pm ET

Holders of foreign bank accounts can thank Hurricane Irene for one thing.

Due to the potential impact of Hurricane Irene, the Internal Revenue Service has extended the due date for Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative, or OVDI, requests until Sept. 9.

This is the IRS's latest effort to find out about and collect on offshore accounts. While it's popularly called a tax amnesty, Harry Miller and I chatted earlier today -- when the deadline was Aug. 31 --  about the OVDI advantages and requirements.

The IRS isn't issuing anyone a "get out of offshore account tax liability free" card, but if you have a foreign account, it might well be worth disclosing it now. And now means Sept. 9.

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Kay Bell
August 31, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Hella, my first advice is to contact a tax professional. From all I've read, this account does look to be the type the IRS wants to know about. It's based in Germany and if you have signature authority, i.e., can get to the money, the IRS wants to know even if you don't technically owe taxes on it (yet). Also, the 23,000 Euro amount is well over the $10,000 U.S. threshold. So again, call a tax pro and tell him/her your situation while you still have time under the IRS disclosure option. Kay

Hella Wagner
August 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm

does this apply also to an account in Germany with a cash inheritance? This was a savings account first, then converted to a checking account. The interest earned on this is less than $50. The highest amount on this account was 23,000 Euro.

Kay Bell
August 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Sam, yeah as the old saying goes, it's an ill wind that blows no good. I got a media advisory email from the IRS. The agency has now posted the info they sent via email to its website:,,id=234900,00.html?portlet=7

Sam Edvalson
August 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I still wouldn't wish a hurricane on anyone, but I'm breathing a sigh of relief. It was going to be a long weekend for me otherwise.

Any link to a source for this extended due date?