Key excerpts are:
Based on public reports, it appears that the total number of taxpayers directly affected by the disqualification seems to be relatively few -- about 50 or so who held unreported accounts at Bank Leumi in Israel. However, the incident has received attention in the mainstream media and among practitioners. The implications for the IRS are much broader than those taxpayers directly affected and are likely to have a much greater impact on the OVDP which has been an overwhelming success.
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The IRS's disqualification of taxpayers who were previously accepted into the OVDP and in some cases had provided detailed information to the IRS in reliance on their "pre-clearance" to participate in the program, will inevitably affect the ongoing success of the OVDP as a whole. Thus, by reversing its pre-clearance and preliminary acceptance of these taxpayers, the IRS has undermined the ability of practitioners to advise their clients with certainty as to how the program works. In fact, the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility governing the conduct of attorneys requires attorneys to "explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation." See Rule 1.4 Client-Lawyer Relationship-Communication. Attorneys will now have to advise their clients and prospective clients that they may be disqualified from participating in the OVDP even after they were admitted into the program and disclosed detailed information about their foreign bank account(s). This information will lead some (if not many) clients to hesitate (or decline) to come forward with additional disclosures. Moreover, the IRS's failure to abide by the "rules of the road" in connection with the OVDP may affect the willingness of taxpayers to make voluntary disclosures relating to non-compliance outside the offshore account area.