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

IRS Stealth: Delinquent Information Submission Procedure Penalties May Apply Without Considering “Reasonable Cause” Statement

On November 5, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made life more difficult for taxpayers who may have missed some foreign information return filings.  The IRS quietly revised one of the four options to correct for missing information returns with respect to a US taxpayer’s interest in any offshore/foreign assets and holdings (e.g., Form 8938, Form … Continue reading IRS Stealth: Delinquent Information Submission Procedure Penalties May Apply Without Considering “Reasonable Cause” Statement

FBAR “Willfulness” – Fifty Shades of Gray

It’s been awhile since I have blogged about our friend, Mr. FBAR.  For those of you who are not familiar with his nickname, you may know him by his more formal moniker “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (FinCEN Form 114).  He springs from Title 31 of the Bank Secrecy Act (not the Internal … Continue reading FBAR “Willfulness” – Fifty Shades of Gray

Cryptocurrency – Criminal Investigations have Commenced!

First, a special thank you to Steve Phillips, a tax & business lawyer in Texas, who alerted me to this recent development. According to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) special agent, Mr. Chris Hueston, the IRS has now officially begun investigations into tax evasion and other crimes tied to cryptocurrency. The announcement made on November … Continue reading Cryptocurrency – Criminal Investigations have Commenced!