Are Streamlined Audits Becoming More Common? The Streamlined Submission that went Belly-Up (Part II)

Are "Streamlined" audits on the rise?  It appears so. In 2016, two years after the Streamlined Procedures were put into place, then-Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline Ciraolo (Dept. of Justice) had this to say in an interview: "After seven years of voluntary disclosure programs, nearly 200 criminal prosecutions, and the increased assessment and suits to … Continue reading Are Streamlined Audits Becoming More Common? The Streamlined Submission that went Belly-Up (Part II)

What Can Happen if Your Streamlined Submission Goes Belly-Up? (Part I)

The IRS Streamlined Procedure, whether the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedure (SFOP) or the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedure (SDOP) of 2014 is still available for taxpayers, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is apparently closely policing those who enter the program. The IRS is now very carefully vetting the cases coming in. A hallmark of the … Continue reading What Can Happen if Your Streamlined Submission Goes Belly-Up? (Part I)

FBAR Penalty & the US Supreme Court: If the Penalty is “Per Form”, are “Per Account” Penalty Refunds Possible?

My earlier blog posts discussed the split in the circuit courts whether the FBAR $10,000 civil nonwillful penalty is to be applied on a “per account” rather than “per form” basis. The Fifth and Ninth circuit courts disagree on the statutory interpretation of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) (31 U.S.C. § 5321(a)(5)(B)(i)), particularly what constitutes … Continue reading FBAR Penalty & the US Supreme Court: If the Penalty is “Per Form”, are “Per Account” Penalty Refunds Possible?

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

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

Malta Pension Plan – IRS Knocks It Out.. and Yes, “I Told You So…..”

Just in time for Christmas, we have two big gifts. Both relate to Malta Pension Plan schemes. If you are too busy to read the post because of the Christmas rush,  in a nutshell, they've just been knocked out and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is hot on the trail for taxpayers who used them! … Continue reading Malta Pension Plan – IRS Knocks It Out.. and Yes, “I Told You So…..”

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

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!

Want Protection from Criminal Prosecution for Tax Noncompliance? IRS Provides Only One Way

As many will remember, the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) closed on September 28 2018 with the promise that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would issue new guidance on voluntary disclosures made after that date.  The guidance arrived on November 20 2018 in the form of a 5-page Memorandum (IRS Memorandum LB&I-09-1118-014) (“Memorandum”) by the … Continue reading Want Protection from Criminal Prosecution for Tax Noncompliance? IRS Provides Only One Way

MERRY CHRISTMAS: FATCA Drops Coal on the Doorstep of Americans Abroad

Merry Christmas to all of my readers and followers who celebrate this special time of year. I hope the joy of the season will follow you into the New Year. Sadly, Christmas won’t be merry for many Americans abroad who are ensnared in the grip of “FATCA,” the notorious “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act”.  Briefly, … Continue reading MERRY CHRISTMAS: FATCA Drops Coal on the Doorstep of Americans Abroad