Supreme Court Settles Fifth Amendment Required Records Issue in Context of Offshore Bank Accounts


On May 13, 2013, the Supreme Court denied a taxpayer’s petition for certiorari regarding the Seventh Circuit’s August 27, 2012, decision applying the Required Records Exception to override the taxpayer’s Fifth Amendment objection to producing records of his offshore bank account. The citation is T. W. v. United States, No. 12-853 (2013).

Before the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari, the four circuits to have considered the issue were unanimous in upholding the government’s ability to use grand jury subpoenas to force taxpayers to produce records of their offshore bank accounts. The Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari appears to settle the issue in the government’s favor.

For more information on the government’s offshore enforcement efforts, FBAR penalties, and the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), please contact Jim Mastracchio at (202) 861-1650 ( or Jay Nanavati, (202) 861-1747 (, Baker Hostetler LLP, 1050 Connecticut Ave., Washington, DC 20036 (

Topics:  Fifth Amendment, Offshore Funds, OVDP, Recordkeeping Requirements, Required Documentation, SCOTUS

Published In: Constitutional Law Updates, Criminal Law Updates, Finance & Banking Updates, International Trade Updates, Tax Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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