Less than 10 shopping days before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Foreign Bank Account Report Tax Amnesty ends. September 23rd is the last day that owners of Swiss Bank Accounts, and other foreign financial accounts have to disclose their offshore holdings to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in order to escape criminal tax prosecution, and take advantage of the lower civil tax penalties being offered by the IRS as part of its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program a/k/a offshore tax amnesty.
Those who fess up before that date will not only be spared the possibility of jail time, but will also be eligible for reduced penalties. The normal civil penalties for failing to file a Foreign Bank Account Report, TD F 90-22.1 (FBAR) is the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the balance in the account. The FBAR penalty can be imposed for each year there is a balance in the combined accounts greater than $10,000. The civil tax fraud penalty is 75% of the amount owed. For a more detailed list of possible penalties I have them listed here.