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  1. I am seeking people, that live in NYC or elsewhere, and are like myself in the situation that we did not know about this, are foreigners living in the US and have bank accounts back home, with our savings – and have not conducted tax fraud, or at least not knowingly!!!!! Please e-mail me, because I would like to organize a group of affected individuals in the same situation like myself, people that are here with a work permit, or greencard, maybe we can help each other!!!!!! Email me here:

  2. UBS has released the criteria for reporting to the IRS accounts greater than approximately $900,000.

    However, the IRS requires that accounts greater that $10,000 must be reported.

    This creates a sort of dichotomy:

    Many individuals who have accounts between $10,000 – $900,000 have voluntarily disclosed. But how fair is it for the IRS to punish these individuals, and on the other hand look the other way regarding those who did not disclose? Since the UBS will now not report these accounts less that $900,000, it is unlikely that these will now be discovered by the IRS and will therefore not face any penalties at all.

    This would send out a strange message indeed to the past and future individuals who did or would wish to become complient.

  3. Thank you Anon for writing this, and to Phil for posting it publicly. It expresses the frustration that I feel, and I agree that no politician will probably care about this. I am in a very similar situation, being a recent immigrant and having been sideswiped by this mess. I too am now in the VDP, for better or worse.

    The effective 40% penalty estimate is right on for me. If you have an unfortunate confluence of events relating to foreign currency fluctuations, investment value fluctuations and the way in which tax is withheld by foreign governments then 40% is about right. Sucks to be me.

    One of the worst things about this situation for me is the feeling of isolation, and being all alone in the mess. I’m actually relieved to read an account of someone else in my position as I don’t feel like I’m the only one having innocently walked right into this, and now being in-line to be clobbered for it. Sorry, I guess misery loves company.

    I can only hope that (metaphorically) the IRS are currently looking at the stack of submissions in front of them and are thinking “Hey, we really got some innocent people here, just a big bunch of expats and immigrants who couldn’t really have known; let’s be considerate of their circumstances and be flexible/reasonable in how we apply these penalties”. Of course this remains to be seen. My second hope (if my first hope is not fulfilled) is that the people like Anon and myself make their story heard when the smoke clears. Blog it, post it on a forum, email it to the newspaper editor (probably anonymously). Just get it into the public domain one way or another. If the VDP progresses in the way it seems to be headed – draconian penalties applied to innocent people via the sudden enforcement of a little-known law – then I think it best if the stories of the victims and the actions of the government were publicized for all to see. At least it might set the record straight on the outrageous line that has been held by the government (and parroted by the media) that this is/was a righteous crackdown on “wealthy tax cheats with hidden Swiss accounts”.


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Tax laws change over time, and the information in this post above may be less accurate today than it was at the time of the last revision. This post is not tax advice for your specific situation. Please contact an international tax professional to get personalized advice for your situation.