When a U.S. person has unreported foreign accounts, they may need an FBAR Attorney to represent them. But a little background on the options available may help him or her make better decisions on how to proceed. What constitutes a “foreign account” and what triggers a reporting requirement are the things that a taxpayer should be mindful of and is more complicated than it seems on its face. It is best to consult a tax attorney if you hold foreign assets and are unsure of your filing obligation. The penalties are stiff, some criminal, and prosecuted by the IRS swiftly and severely. You do have options, however. Even though the long standing Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) is closed, there are several other options. One is the IRS Criminal Investigation Voluntary Disclosure Practice, whereby a taxpayer comes forward to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and disclosures his or her non-compliance with the Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) obligation. Your participation in the CID program depends on when your disclosure occurs – it must be before the commencement of an IRS examination or CID investigation, before the IRS receives information from a third party concerning your noncompliance, and before the IRS acquires information about your noncompliance through a criminal enforcement action (e.g., summons). If so, so long as the disclosing taxpayer is completely truthful, cooperates to the satisfaction of the IRS and makes a good faith attempt to pay in-full all tax, penalties and interest due, CID then will be more lenient in its criminal prosecution selection process. Other programs, like the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures, requires, in part, a good faith taxpayer to “certified” in writing that he or she did fail compliance in a willful manner. IRS Criminal Investigation Voluntary Disclosure Practice and the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures are called “noisy” disclosures because the taxpayer is coming forward and disclosing his noncompliance to the IRS before discovery of it. Another way is the “quiet” disclosure, whereby taxpayers take it upon themselves to file delinquent FBARs (generally recommended six (6) years back) and hope their submissions are not picked up by an IRS examinations or CID for investigation. Either way a taxpayer decides to proceed, they should take positive action in one way or another; the risks are simply to high not to.