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?

Foreign Accounts and Assets: How I Approach a “Streamlined” Tax Filing Nowadays

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Streamlined Procedures of 2014 are still available for taxpayers with tax noncompliance issues that involve unreported income from a foreign financial asset. The Procedures can help taxpayers who have not filed certain information returns associated with the foreign asset (e.g., Form 8938; Form 5471 pertaining to ownership in a foreign … Continue reading Foreign Accounts and Assets: How I Approach a “Streamlined” Tax Filing Nowadays

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?  

Escaping the USA, Exit Tax and Transfer Tax Regimes: Using the “Dual National” Exception

Join me today in a live webinar: Everything you need to know about giving up a green card or US citizenship  - 2 CPE credits. Register here. The economy is not looking good with the stock market dropping sharply, with tech companies being hit most dramatically, dropping by about 40%.  Crypto markets are also in … Continue reading Escaping the USA, Exit Tax and Transfer Tax Regimes: Using the “Dual National” Exception

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

Oops… Made a Mistake on an FBAR?

The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) contained in Title 31 of the United States Code, requires that every year US persons must report certain foreign financial accounts, such as bank accounts, brokerage accounts and mutual funds, to the Treasury Department and to keep certain records with regard to these accounts.  The reporting is done by filing … Continue reading Oops… Made a Mistake on an FBAR?

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

Tax Tips for the US Investor in a Foreign Start-Up: Convertible Notes

My earlier blog post, here examined some of the United States income tax consequences that could occur when a taxpayer mistakenly classifies an advance to a foreign corporation as a “loan” but that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats as a stockholding interest (“equity”) in the corporation. Two follow up posts, here and here examined the … Continue reading Tax Tips for the US Investor in a Foreign Start-Up: Convertible Notes