Skip to Main Content

Scott Michel Comments on TIGTA Recent Report Criticizing OVDP

June 22, 2016, Tax Notes

Tax Notes spoke with Scott D. Michel concerning the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) comments in a recent report on the IRS's offshore voluntary disclosure program. For the complete article, please visit Tax Notes' website (subscription required).  

Excerpt taken from the article "TIGTA Faults IRS Efforts on OVDP Compliance, Processing" authored by  Andrew Velarde and Nathan J. Richman.

Scott D. Michel of Caplin & Drysdale Chtd. said that the TIGTA review had a broad objective and that the issues found by TIGTA were fairly limited. "While all of us practitioners have issues from time to time in particular cases, what TIGTA has said here is that in a very broad sense the program is operating as it should," he said, adding that with the exception of the isolated issues raised, "it's an implicit general endorsement of the program, which, I think, speaks well of the way the Service has been managing it."

. . .

"Look, the IRS has always said that the program is not permanent," Michel said. He added that while he has both heard rumors about the end of the OVDP and officials saying that the imminent end is not under consideration, "the day is going to come when that program is either terminated or changed in a fairly dramatic way."

Michel noted that the OVDP is just one part of the enforcement efforts by the IRS and the Justice Department Tax Division. "I imagine that the question whether to continue the program would be directly related to the broader enforcement rubric, and I would hope that the decision-makers see that the program is a necessary and valuable component of tax compliance while the government is vigorously continuing to pursue banks, account holders, and third parties involved with unreported offshore assets, and is also continuing to pursue other avenues, such as [the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act] and other methods of information exchange," he said.

. . .

Michel said that TIGTA's conclusions that taxpayers who withdraw from the OVDP generally do not hear back from the IRS reflects his impression of what practitioners have been seeing. "Having said that, people withdraw for all kinds of reasons [and] there shouldn't be an inference that people who withdraw from the program are somehow trying to get away with something," he added. In many cases, there are valid reasons for not moving forward with an offshore voluntary disclosure, 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)