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Archive for FBAR

FBAR Penalties Rise Again Due To Inflation

As with many numbers in the U.S. tax code (for example, the foreign earned income exclusion maximum amount), FBAR penalties increase periodically due to inflation.

Recently, the IRS announced that FBAR penalties for noncompliance would be increased for penalties assessed after January 15, 2017. A brief summary of the FBAR requirement and the new penalty amounts are the subjects of this blog.

The FBAR Requirement – A Quick Background Read more

Options Available For U.S. Taxpayers With Undisclosed Foreign Financial Assets

The implementation of FATCA and the ongoing efforts of the IRS and the Department of Justice to ensure compliance by those with U.S. tax obligations have raised awareness of U.S. tax and information reporting obligations with respect to non-U.S. investments.  Because the circumstances of taxpayers with non-U.S. investments vary widely, the IRS offers the following options for addressing previous failures to comply with U.S. tax and information return obligations with respect to those investments:

  1. Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program;
    Note: The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) is closing. Refer to the OVDP FAQs for an outline of the sunset provisions.
  2. Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures;
  3. Delinquent FBAR submission procedures; and
  4. Delinquent international information return submission procedures.

Read more

FBAR Must Be Filed Electronically Through FinCEN’s BSA E-Filing System, Not With The Federal Tax Return

FBAR must be filed electronically through FinCEN’s BSA E-Filing System. The FBAR is not filed with a federal tax return.

Public Law 114-41 mandates a maximum six-month extension of the filing deadline. To implement the statute with minimal burden to the public and FinCEN, FinCEN will grant filers failing to meet the FBAR annual due date of April 15 an automatic extension to October 15 each year. Accordingly, specific requests for this extension are not required.

Thus, before the FBAR extended due date of October 15, file streamlined FBARs for each of the most recent 6 years for which the FBAR due date has passed (i.e., is delinquent, and of course timely file the current year FBAR too). Read more

FBAR Reporting Requirement Or Exception – 4 Types Of Foreign Retirement Accounts

Foreign retirement accounts do not meet the FBAR filing exception for U.S. retirement accounts in 31 CFR 1010.350(g)(4).  That exception specifically applies to plans under sections of the Internal Revenue Code, that is, domestic U.S. plans.

FBAR reporting of foreign retirement accounts will be determined by the facts of each situation.  However, these general guidelines may be helpful in determining whether your foreign retirement account should be reported on the FBAR. Read more

Appeals Court Finally Affirms One Million Dollar FBAR Penalty

Ephraim Moss, Tax Attorney

In a rather swift and harsh judgment, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision in favor of the IRS, which assessed an approximately $1.2 million penalty against a taxpayer for failing to disclose her financial interests in an overseas account.

The decision, U.S. v. Bussell, is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it shows the magnitude of penalty that can be reached, even with respect to an individual and a single foreign account and tax year (in this case, the relevant tax year was 2006). Second, it shows the type of taxpayer arguments that courts will likely reject when reviewing an FBAR penalty case. Read more

Green Card Holder Pleads Guilty of Failing to File FBAR and Report UBS Account, Will Pay More than Half the Assets in FBAR and Tax Penalties

A Greenwich, Connecticut man pleaded guilty October 26, 2017, to failing to report funds he maintained in foreign bank accounts to the Department of Treasury, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Chief Don Fort, IRS Criminal Investigation.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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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