IRS is Ruthless in Seeking “Willful” FBAR Penalties – But the Court Won’t Have it….

We have another important FBAR case, US v Katholos No17cv531 WDNY Aug 10 2022.  Ms Katholos was first introduced to my readers in 2018 (blog post here). An update on Katholos was posted just last week detailing a court’s clarification, perhaps an expansion, of the definition of “financial interest” in an account requiring FBAR reporting.  … Continue reading IRS is Ruthless in Seeking “Willful” FBAR Penalties – But the Court Won’t Have it….

Mr. FBAR – He Lurks in Every Corner – Katholos Case Expands Meaning of “Financial Interest”

We have another important FBAR case. The case is significant for 2 distinct reasons 1) clarification, and some may say, an ‘expansion’ of the definition of “financial interest” in an account requiring FBAR reporting and 2) a firm demonstration how far the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will go to assert a civil “willful” FBAR penalty. … Continue reading Mr. FBAR – He Lurks in Every Corner – Katholos Case Expands Meaning of “Financial Interest”

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)

US Citizenship: Do You Really Want It? Brave New World – Assisted Reproductive Technology / Surrogacy / Same-sex Marriage

My earlier blog post discussed some of the complications that arise when certain individuals wish to renounce their US citizenship. The would-be renunciant must give up US citizenship “voluntarily” and with the requisite “intention” in order to meet the legal requirements for an effective renunciation. This can be a difficult hurdle to surmount in the … Continue reading US Citizenship: Do You Really Want It? Brave New World – Assisted Reproductive Technology / Surrogacy / Same-sex Marriage

Special Hurdles: Expatriation of Minors / Mentally Challenged Individuals

I am now frequently receiving more and more expatriation inquiries from the foreign parents of a child born in the United States while the parents were studying there or were otherwise in America on some other temporary basis. “Jus soli” (the law of the soil) is a rule of common law followed by the US, under … Continue reading Special Hurdles: Expatriation of Minors / Mentally Challenged Individuals

Foreign Loans & Mortgages – Foreigners Residing in US / Expats Returning to US…. Surprise! US Withholding Tax Required on Interest Payments?

Many Americans living abroad purchase properties in their foreign country of residence.  They often accomplish this with financing from a financial institution located in the country where the property was purchased. Later, they may return to the US and continue holding the property and meeting their mortgage payments. Similarly, many non-US citizens purchase properties with … Continue reading Foreign Loans & Mortgages – Foreigners Residing in US / Expats Returning to US…. Surprise! US Withholding Tax Required on Interest Payments?

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

There are good lessons in today's post for any individual who is considering attaining "US status" - be it by obtaining a green card, US citizenship or through extended physical presence in America. The lessons are explained in detail in a 2-part blog post and will be helpful to Prince Harry who may possibly take … Continue reading Prince Harry (Part I) – 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”?