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
Can a simple educational letter to taxpayers who appear to have erroneously claimed the earned income tax credit (EITC) actually avert future noncompliance? Based on recent TAS research studies, the answer appears to be yes.
As readers of this blog already know, the EITC is a refundable credit designed to provide financial support to low income working taxpayers, especially those with children in the household. Because it focuses on household composition, the administration of the credit is very complex. While the IRS can generally establish the age of the child from various government databases, and sometimes the parent-child relationship, it cannot easily establish other relationships nor can it independently determine with whom the child lived for over half the year, as the law requires. Read More
Taxpayers can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in more than one tax year, so using the audit as an opportunity to educate them about the requirements for claiming EITC is of particular benefit to them and to the IRS. If a taxpayer claims the credit in error but understands why there was an error, he or she can not only become compliant for the year of any audit, but remain compliant going forward. However, audits are expensive for both the IRS and taxpayers, and are intrusive and intimidating for the taxpayer. There are many EITC returns the IRS does not audit but identifies as containing an error. Thus, while the IRS may not have the resources to audit these taxpayers, through other cost-effective approaches, it can educate them about why they appear to have erroneously claimed EITC, and avert future noncompliance.