Skip to Main Content

Mark Matthews Talks to Tax Notes About Creating Greater Flexibility in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

October 28, 2013, Tax Notes

Caplin & Drysdale's Mark E. Matthews spoke with Tax Notes concerning the need for greater flexibility in the implementation of the offshore voluntary disclosure program (OVDP).   Some tax practitioners are calling for OVDP to be modified based on the circumstances of a particular taxpayer.  To read the full article, please visit Tax Notes' website (subscription required)

Excerpt taken from the article "IRS Official Defends OVDP Against Calls for Greater Flexibility"
by Andrew Velarde for Tax Notes

Mark E. Matthews of Caplin & Drysdale was not convinced of the OVDP's universal fairness, citing a degree of randomness in the program, depending partly on the agent handling a case.

Noting the diversity of OVDP cases, Matthews said there are numerous cases in which individuals who have made an honest mistake on a tax return should steer clear of the program and its "Kafkaesque bureaucracy."

Given the "horror stories" of accidental noncompliant taxpayers facing large penalties, practitioners are losing confidence in the way the program is working, Matthews said.

Matthews was also critical of the taxpayers the Department of Justice had selected to pursue for offshore account prosecution, citing the prosecution of Mary Estelle Curran as setting a bad precedent. (Prior coverage 2013 TNT 81-3: News Stories.)

Matthews noted that Curran had previously tried to participate in OVDP before her prosecution commenced and questioned why the DOJ would prosecute her over the multitude of other bad actors.

"It leads people to distrust the judgments that are being exercised in these cases," he said.


About Caplin & Drysdale
Celebrating our 55th Anniversary in 2019, Caplin & Drysdale continues to be a leading provider of legal services to corporations, individuals, and nonprofits throughout the United States and around the world. We are also privileged to serve as legal advisors to accounting firms, financial institutions, law firms, and other professional services organizations.

The firm's reputation over the years has earned us the trust and respect of clients, industry peers, and government agencies. Moreover, clients rely on our broad knowledge of the law and our keen insights into their business concerns and personal interests. Our lawyers' strong tactical and problem-solving skills -- combined with substantial experience handling a variety of complex, high stakes, matters in a boutique environment -- make us one the nation's most distinctive law firms.

With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., Caplin & Drysdale's core practice areas include:
For more information, please visit us at
Washington, DC Office:
One Thomas Circle NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
New York, NY Office:
600 Lexington Avenue
21st Floor
New York, NY 10022


This communication does not provide legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with you or any other reader. If you require legal guidance in any specific situation, you should engage a qualified lawyer for that purpose. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Attorney Advertising
It is possible that under the laws, rules, or regulations of certain jurisdictions, this may be construed as an advertisement or solicitation.
©2021 Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
All Rights Reserved.

Related Professionals

Related Practice Area(s)