Addressing the concern that the IRS may not accept non-willful certification for taxpayers transitioning from the OVDP to the streamlined program, Price [Daniel Price, supervisory attorney with IRS Chief Counsel] said the Service is concurring with non-willful certification in most of those cases. In the case of assertions that are clearly deficient, Price said the IRS is giving taxpayers another chance by requesting additional information. "We're giving taxpayers and their reps an opportunity for a do-over, but we do expect actual statements of facts," he said.
Martin R. Press of Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart PA [attorney for Zwerner in the much publicized FBAR penalty case] noted that only U.S. willfulness counts for purposes of the streamlined program. For the most part, he said, what someone does overseas is not a factor, even if a foreign account is willfully unreported in the foreign country of residence.
"The IRS is taking that seriously for purposes of the streamlined program," Price confirmed.
However, the IRS has left itself some wiggle room, Press noted. For example, deliberate evasion of foreign residence country income tax is a negative factor.I thought the comment that most taxpayers certification of nonwillfulness is being accepted and that the IRS is giving taxpayers some opportunity to supplement the information to justify nonwillfulness. It is not clear to me where the participants ended up on the willful violation of foreign tax law issue. Perhaps some reader who attended the session could offer their recollection / impression of where that discussion ended up.