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

Treasury Inspector General Says FATCA is a Big Fat Flop ….So Far

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) just issued a damning report on FATCA:  Additional Actions Are Needed to Address Non-Filing and Non-Reporting Compliance Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Report # 2022-30-019 4/7/22), available here. The TIGTA audit was undertaken to evaluate IRS efforts to actually use the reams and reams of … Continue reading Treasury Inspector General Says FATCA is a Big Fat Flop ….So Far

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

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

Is IRS Finally Seeing the Light on Foreign Information Returns?

Bloomberg Tax - I invite readers to enjoy my recently published article, copied in full below. Reproduced with permission. Published December 3, 2021. The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bloombergindustry.com published in Tax Insights and Commentary News, online here.   Various options are available to correct the problem of missing information returns for U.S. … Continue reading Is IRS Finally Seeing the Light on Foreign Information Returns?

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

IRS Wants Crypto Information from Foreign Countries

Last week during testimony to the Senate Finance Committee (SFC), US Internal Revenue Service Commissioner (IRS) Charles Rettig stated that Congress needs to provide clear statutory authority in order for the IRS to collect information on cryptocurrency transfers valued over US$10,000.  It is believed that such transfers are generally not being reported. Cryptocurrency market capitalization … Continue reading IRS Wants Crypto Information from Foreign Countries

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!

Pres. Biden: 3d Party Information Reporting to be Increased – Foreign Accounts and Crypto Included

President Biden has an economic agenda and a big part of it is strengthening taxpayer compliance by increasing what must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about client accounts by third party financial institutions and similar entities. The President’s proposal would require information reporting on both business and personal financial accounts. The reporting … Continue reading Pres. Biden: 3d Party Information Reporting to be Increased – Foreign Accounts and Crypto Included

Closing the International Tax Gap: IRS Doing Virtually Nothing With FATCA

Today’s blog post discusses the overall and international tax gaps, takes a look at the offshore world and how enforcement of the tax laws is faring (hint - not so good). It summarizes some important testimony given on May 11, 2021 by the Honorable J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration before the … Continue reading Closing the International Tax Gap: IRS Doing Virtually Nothing With FATCA