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

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

Cannot Expatriate! US Consulate in Dubai – Joining Others Worldwide, Closes the Door on Expatriations

An alternative title for this post could be:  "Hasn't the State Department Heard About Zoom?" What’s become of the right to relinquish one’s US citizenship?  It has been thrown a curveball for the past year and a half.   Many US Embassies and Consulates throughout the world are not offering the service.  Those that did (or … Continue reading Cannot Expatriate! US Consulate in Dubai – Joining Others Worldwide, Closes the Door on Expatriations

Constitutionality of NIIT and Passport Revocation Rules Stand: Taxpayers Sacrificed in US Supreme Court and Tax Court  

The US Supreme Court and the Tax Court issued two big decisions impacting many US individual taxpayers. Here’s a short and not-so-sweet summary of what went down: The 3.8% Net Investment Income Tax Stands On June 17, 2021, by a clear majority vote,  the Affordable Care  (ACA) was upheld by the US Supreme Court, including … Continue reading Constitutionality of NIIT and Passport Revocation Rules Stand: Taxpayers Sacrificed in US Supreme Court and Tax Court  

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!

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

Oh No! I Have a “Foreign” Pension or Employee Savings Plan and Uncle Sam is Killing Me (Part II)

Part I of this blog post introduced the topic of the "foreign" pension or employee workplace savings plan, and examined in some detail how these plans are becoming more and more popular in the United Arab Emirates. The plans, however, give US expatriate employees some serious US tax headaches. Today's post focusses on these thorny … Continue reading Oh No! I Have a “Foreign” Pension or Employee Savings Plan and Uncle Sam is Killing Me (Part II)

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!