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Archive for FBAR

CPA Advice May Not Constitute Reasonable Cause

Taxpayers have been able to rely on advice from their accountants and CPAs to meet the complicated tax filing imposed by the U.S. Tax Code. But a case currently pending in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims suggests that CPA advice may not be enough to stop the IRS from assessing FBAR penalties for non-willful reporting violations.

A current case in the United States Court of Federal Claims, Jarnagin v United States, Docket No. 15-1534-T, shows what can happen when an unsuspecting taxpayer fails to file FBAR forms after providing all the requisite information regarding the foreign account to their accountant/CPA. Read more

U.S. Culture Of Penalty And Inflation

John Richardson

The purpose of this post is to explore how inflation results in the facilitation of enhanced penalty collection in America today.

What is inflation? “Inflation is defined as a sustained increase in the general level of prices for goods and services in a county, and is measured as an annual percentage change. Under conditions of inflation, the prices of things rise over time. Put differently, as inflation rises, every dollar you own buys a smaller percentage of a good or service. When prices rise, and alternatively when the value of money falls you have inflation.” Read more

FBAR In The Homeland: The Willful FBAR Penalty Requires Proof

John Richardson

This is one more in a series of posts discussing the FBAR rules. The FBAR rules were born in 1970, laid virtually dormant until the 2000s and then were then unleashed in their full “ferocity” on U.S. persons. 

Mr. FBAR has not visited Canada, but he has visited Canadian citizens Read more

Court Revisits Willful Requirement For Enhanced FBAR Penalties

A recent U.S. District court case has again shone a spotlight on the lack of a clear statutory or regulatory definition of “willful” for purposes of applying the more severe penalties for failure to file the FBAR.

In Bedrosian v. United States, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56535 (ED PA 2017), the Court denied summary judgments by the both taxpayer and government on the issue of the taxpayer’s culpability in failing to report a Swiss bank account on a timely-filed FBAR.

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Extended Due Date For Calendar Year Corp – What?

Annette Nellen

In 2015, Congress changed the due date for several types of entities as well as for the FBAR (for foreign financial accounts). The AICPA has a wonderful chart with all of the new dates noted.

When Congress made the changes for C corporations, they apparently had a concern with a change that would move a due date from one government fiscal year into the next fiscal year. The federal government’s fiscal year ends September 30.

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Be Careful What You “Fix For” – Mr. Kentera Meets Mr. FBAR

John Richardson

The “unfiled FBAR” continues to be a problem for certain Homeland Americans with “offshore accounts” and all Americans abroad, who continue to “commit personal finance abroad”.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Kentara

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Court Finds Couple Willfully Failed To File FBAR

Ephraim Moss

If you thought FBAR penalties were more bark than bite, a recent U.S. District court case is sure to change your mind.

In United States v. August Bohanec et ux, USDC CD Ca., No. 2:15-cv-04347 (December 2016), the Court found that the taxpayer’s failure to file the FBAR was willful and affirmed the IRS’s enhanced FBAR civil penalty, i.e., a fine equal to the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the balance in their unreported accounts.

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A Holiday Gift: What To Do About The Unfiled FBAR – Part 1

John Richardson

I suspect that history will show that that the growth in renunciations of U.S. citizenship (and abandonment of Green Cards) continued in 2016. Absent a change in the way that the United States treats its “U.S. Persons Abroad”, I suspect that the growth in renunciations of U.S. citizenship will continue.

The purpose of this post and a short summary:

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Recklessness = Willful Failure To File FBAR

Ron Marini

A district court has found that the taxpayers’ failure to timely file a Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report (FBAR) was willful where, among other things, they stopped employing a bookkeeper or keeping any books after opening a foreign bank account and made several misrepresentations under penalty of perjury when they applied to participate in IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP).

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Mr. FBAR As A Role Model For President Putin And The Russian Government

It has been widely reported that American actor Steven Seagal has joined American boxer Roy Jones in becoming a citizen of Russia. By becoming Russian citizens, Mr. Seagal and Mr. Jones are now subject to Russia’s Currency laws, which include the requirement to report their non-Russian bank accounts to the Kremlin. Messrs Seagal and Jones may admire Russia. That said, it’s clear that the Kremlin admires the U.S. Treasury in general and Mr. FBAR – America’s most important citizen – in particular.

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Enrollment In IRS Disclosure Programs Surpasses 100,000 Mark

Ephraim Moss

The IRS announced that over 100,000 taxpayers have now participated in its disclosure programs, which have been available to delinquent filers since 2009. More specifically, according to the IRS, 55,800 taxpayers have used the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) to resolve their tax obligations, paying more than $9.9 billion in taxes, interest and penalties, while an additional 48,000 taxpayers have used the Streamlined Procedures, paying approximately $450 million.

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False Form 8854 Used As Part Of “Willful” FBAR Prosecution

The primary story is of a U.S. professor who pleaded guilty to an FBAR violation and was subjected to a 100 million FBAR penalty. Notably the “tax loss” was 10 million dollars and the FBAR penalty was 100 million dollars. It appears that Mr. FBAR is becoming an important tool in the arsenal used by the United States Treasury.

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