Pros and Cons of Voluntarily Disclosing Past Wrongs

By Wendy Abkin, George Abney, and Caroline D. Ciraolo
Tax Executive Institute 
February 2018

TO DISCLOSE OR NOT TO DISCLOSE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

Hamlet’s thoughts weighed heavily upon him. Should he suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or take arms against a sea of troubles? For the young Prince of Denmark seeking to avenge his father’s death, the choice was action or inaction, and ultimately life or death. Fortunately, most tax problems do not have such grave outcomes. Seemingly inconsequential tax errors can, however, lead to severe financial consequences. And, remote as it may seem, the prospect of imprisonment for tax crimes cannot be overlooked. When a past wrong is discovered, what should you do?

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