The deadline is fast approaching for certain taxpayers to report accounts they hold in foreign banks and other financial institutions. You also may be required to report foreign accounts over which you have signature authority, such as an account that you maintain on behalf of a relative or employer.
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The IRS is using both a "carrot" and a "stick" to encourage more taxpayers living overseas and those with undisclosed foreign financial accounts to comply with U.S. tax obligations. The tax agency recently announced immediate changes in its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, which is designed to ease taxpayer burdens as well as expand streamlined procedures for the program.