Understanding the John Doe Summons

When it comes to learning about your financial accounts, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ways to learn about your assets without you knowing about it. In addition, almost every foreign court will aid the IRS in these audits and help enforce the summons in their own banks. Unfortunately, this means that if you have unreported foreign assets, the IRS is capable of finding out and performing an audit before you have the opportunity to remove the money or defend your case. If you have unreported offshore accounts or assets, contact our OVDP lawyers today. Because we understand the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program better than most, we can help guide you in the right direction, and advise you about the next steps for you to take.

What Is a John Doe Summons?

According to the Internal Revenue Code, a John Doe summons is a summons requesting information about a group of accounts or people without identifying any one individual. In contrast, a normal summons from the IRS would request specific information about a specific taxpayer, making their identity known to the bank or institution. Instead, the John Doe summons will request vague information for a certain group, all sharing a common quality. In the case of OVDP, the IRS would perhaps request a list of investors or account owners from a financial institution that raised red flags in tax audits.

Who Can Issue a John Doe Summons?

A John Doe summons can only be requested by a high-ranking executive who is specifically given this authority through Delegation Order 25-1. This means that an average special agent or revenue agent will not have the authority to issue this summons.

Do They Notify Me?

The purpose of a John Doe summons is to perform an audit without knowing the personal information of an individual taxpayer. Because of the nature of this summons, it is impossible to notify you that this specific summons or audit is occurring, making it important for you to have a lawyer by your side who understands OVDP law.

What Is the Procedure?

The summons must be approved by a Federal court, so the request for a pre-issuance must be submitted to an Area Counsel and be approved by said Counsel, which will submit a referral letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ). If the DOJ approves the referral, they will approve the summons, which will then be issued to the appropriate institution or authorities.

While this process takes time, the IRS is very thorough, and chances are if you have an undisclosed offshore account in a questionable institution, the IRS will find it. Learn why hiring an OVDP lawyer is essential to maintaining your assets (or most of them), and contact our experienced, specialized attorneys at JDKatz:Attorneys at Law today. With our expertise, you’ll have a qualified lawyer in your corner who will work tirelessly to try to help you maintain your assets and accounts. In addition, we’ll help advise you on the best course of action and prepare and file the right paperwork for your unique situation. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get the OVDP consultation you need today.