Recent FBAR Case: IRS Seeks “Willful” Penalty $8.8M Without Much Regard for the Facts

A very recent FBAR case teaches us a few things.  My colleague, attorney John Richardson, noted this after reading the case: "When charities need to raise money they will often have a bake sale or an auction. When the US government wants to raise money it uses an 'FBAR Fundraiser'". Readers, draw your own opinion! … Continue reading Recent FBAR Case: IRS Seeks “Willful” Penalty $8.8M Without Much Regard for the Facts

Oops… Made a Mistake on an FBAR?

The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) contained in Title 31 of the United States Code, requires that every year US persons must report certain foreign financial accounts, such as bank accounts, brokerage accounts and mutual funds, to the Treasury Department and to keep certain records with regard to these accounts.  The reporting is done by filing … Continue reading Oops… Made a Mistake on an FBAR?

US Person – Made a “Loan” to a Foreign Corporation?

What happens if you make a loan to a foreign (non-US) corporation and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) later determines that the “loan” should not be treated as a “loan” for US tax purposes?  Instead, the IRS says it should be treated as if you made a capital contribution to the corporation and therefore had … Continue reading US Person – Made a “Loan” to a Foreign Corporation?

Looking for Mr. FBAR:  FBAR Filings for Trustees, Beneficiaries & Trust Grantors

My earlier post set out certain details about the responsibility for a trust to file the Report of Foreign Financial Accounts (Form 114), or FBAR, with respect to foreign accounts it owns or is deemed to own under the FBAR rules.  Today’s discussion covers the situation when trustees, trust beneficiaries and grantors (i.e., the trust … Continue reading Looking for Mr. FBAR:  FBAR Filings for Trustees, Beneficiaries & Trust Grantors

Looking for Mr. FBAR: When Does a Trust Have a Duty to File?

My latest article on our good friend, Mr. FBAR, is copied below in full, as published by Bloomberg Tax February 21, 2022 in the Daily Tax Report Reproduced with permission, The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bloombergindustry.comResponsibility for filing the Report of Foreign Financial Accounts Form 114, or FBAR, is governed by the rules … Continue reading Looking for Mr. FBAR: When Does a Trust Have a Duty to File?

FBAR Traps: International Couples, Powers of Attorney

Meet the Zuhovitzky’s, the quintessential international couple: Jonathan (a naturalized US citizen and Israeli citizen living in Germany) and Esther (an Austrian and Israeli citizen who was never a US citizen or resident).  I blogged about them and the IRS’ aggressive stance on asserting so-called FBAR penalties against Jonathan for having a power of attorney … Continue reading FBAR Traps: International Couples, Powers of Attorney

FBAR – Fifth Circuit, Non-Willful Penalty Multiplies “Per Account” in Bittner Case

Ka’Ching! It’s a win for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)! At the end of November, in United States v. Bittner, (No. 20-4059, 5th Cir. 11/30/21), the Fifth Circuit overruled the lower court and held that the FBAR non-willful US$10,000 penalty applies on a per account rather than a per form basis.  The taxpayer was hit … Continue reading FBAR – Fifth Circuit, Non-Willful Penalty Multiplies “Per Account” in Bittner Case

IRS Determined to Collect FBAR Penalties  – “We Have Ways of Making You Pay” … Even if Your Money is Outside the US

The case of US v Schwarzbaum (decided October 26, 2021), discussed in today’s blog post, serves as a harsh reminder of how far the US government will go to collect FBAR penalties. The importance of posting about this latest development is to underscore how aggressive FBAR penalty collection efforts are now becoming.  Of course, this case … Continue reading IRS Determined to Collect FBAR Penalties  – “We Have Ways of Making You Pay” … Even if Your Money is Outside the US

US Tax Planning Before Immigrating to the United States

Many people do not think about the possible US tax planning techniques available to them before they become taxed as US “residents”.  Once taxed as a US "resident" (e.g., a green card holder) the individual must clearly understand they are liable for US income tax on their worldwide income, in the same manner as a … Continue reading US Tax Planning Before Immigrating to the United States

FBAR Developments: “Non-Willful” Taxpayer Wins & “Willful” Dead Taxpayer Loses Beyond the Grave!

Here are two recent cases regarding FBAR - One, a taxpayer win and the other a taxpayer loss. Let's start with the good news: The taxpayer win! The penalty for non-willful FBAR violations is generally US$10,000 per violation.  The question is, what is the "violation"? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes this penalty applies for … Continue reading FBAR Developments: “Non-Willful” Taxpayer Wins & “Willful” Dead Taxpayer Loses Beyond the Grave!