IRS Non-Willful Certification Streamlined Form
How to Write an IRS Non-Willful Certification Streamlined Form: The IRS non-willful certification is an important part of the streamlined disclosure procedure process. When a taxpayer wants to submit to the Streamlined Domestic or Streamlined Foreign procedures, they are required to include a non-willful certification form.
The Certification Form is prepared on either an IRS Form 14653 (foreign) or Form 14654 (domestic).
Important IRS Non-Willful Certification Writing Tips
Each taxpayer has their own unique set of facts and circumstances, and the preparation of the form requires extensive tax knowledge and understanding of international tax law.
Here are some important tips for preparing the statement:
Outline and Organize the Facts
It is important to outline and organize the facts and circumstances before writing the statement.
Oftentimes, taxpayers will have many different thoughts and concepts floating around their mind, and these thoughts need organizing. By organizing the important facts, a person will have a much better understanding of their non-willful position, and any flaws or holes in their analysis.
Research IRS Non-Willfulness
IRS Non-willfulness is a complex concept.
The IRS has summarized non-willfulness in the IRM, along with other materials made available online. Taxpayers should realize there is no bright-line test when it comes to non-willfulness, and is essentially a “Totality of the Circumstances” analysis.
Evaluate Recent FBAR and FATCA Cases
The IRS has taken an aggressive approach on matters involving foreign accounts compliance and enforcement. The District and Appellate Courts have issued many rulings involving willful vs. non-willful, offshore penalties, and schedule B.
Write and Rewrite the Certification Statement
The writing of the certification statement is no easy task.
Amateur attorneys rush through their submissions, allocating as little as 5-10 hours on a case.
In reality, it takes a significant amount of time (even for tax specialists) to properly research, analyze, and prepare a certification statement, and support documents.
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Generally, experienced attorneys in this field will have the following credentials/experience:
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