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)

Prince Harry (Part II) – Does US Citizenship Wait in the Royal Wings? What about the Impact on the Royal Family?

Part I of this blog post examined the US tax issues faced by the Duke of Sussex who moved with Duchess Meghan to Los Angeles in March 2020.  Given the significant number of days of physical presence in America, Prince Harry has most likely already met the "substantial presence test" and is being taxed the … Continue reading Prince Harry (Part II) – Does US Citizenship Wait in the Royal Wings? What about the Impact on the Royal Family?

Tax Traps for the Generous but Unwary Foreigner with a Child (or other Relative) in the USA

Over my many years of international tax practice, I regularly come across the loving foreign parent (or relative) with a child (or other relation) residing in the United States. The individual may be studying there or living there and pursuing the American dream - starting a business or perhaps buying a home. He or she … Continue reading Tax Traps for the Generous but Unwary Foreigner with a Child (or other Relative) in the USA

Is the IRS Being Reasonable when it comes to “Reasonable Cause”?

My recent blog post discussed how I approach “streamlined procedure” filings for taxpayers with unreported income, for example, from offshore assets or accounts. Often, the tax noncompliance for such cases involves unfiled international information returns as well.  As discussed in the blog post, I draft the required statement of non-willfulness in such a manner that … Continue reading Is the IRS Being Reasonable when it comes to “Reasonable Cause”?

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?

US Supreme Court to Decide: FBAR Penalty, $10K per Form or per Account?  

The US Supreme Court just agreed to resolve 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.  By granting certiorari to Mr. Bittner, a taxpayer who petitioned the Court to review his case, we will finally have a … Continue reading US Supreme Court to Decide: FBAR Penalty, $10K per Form or per Account?  

US Residency “First Year Election” and FBAR – The Devil is in the Details

Recently, I presented a webinar for tax pro’s earning CPE credits; the topic involved our favorite character, Mr. FBAR. The FBAR, Form 114, is more formally known as the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.  The webinar will be available soon as a CPE credit "self-study" program.  Send me an email if you wish … Continue reading US Residency “First Year Election” and FBAR – The Devil is in the Details

FBAR – It Gets You in the End, Presidential Pardon Notwithstanding

Can a presidential pardon forgive FBAR penalties?  Maybe Paul Manafort Jr. thinks so! Despite notice and demand for payment, he is not paying US$2.9 million in “willful” FBAR penalties assessed against him.  The US government just brought an action in the southern district court (West Palm Beach division 4/28/2022), to collect the outstanding civil penalties … Continue reading FBAR – It Gets You in the End, Presidential Pardon Notwithstanding