Foreign Bank Account Report Bank Secrecy Act

News & Analysis as of

IRS Seeks Identities of Americans with Undisclosed Belize Bank Accounts

Americans with secret accounts in Belize should take notice: the government is looking for you. The U.S. Department of Justice on September 15 filed a petition in federal court in Miami seeking permission to issue summonses...more

When the Fifth Amendment Privilege Doesn't Work-Tax Cases

A recent decision of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals illustrates the futility of expecting that the Fifth Amendment Privilege Against Self-incrimination will shield taxpayers from production of offshore financial records. ...more

New Option for Late FBARs – Just File It!

An often overlooked filing obligation is the annual June 30 requirement to file the FBAR form for taxpayers with foreign bank accounts aggregating over $10,000. Late FBARs are a consistent problem and the IRS has a long...more

June 30, 2015 Filing Deadline Approaches to Report Foreign Financial Accounts

Individuals and organizations with a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, in which the aggregate value of the accounts exceeded $10,000 at any point in 2014, may need to file FinCEN...more

Swiss Bank Settlements-What's Next for U.S. Taxpayer's?

The Department of Justice has released the signed Non-Prosecution Agreement NPA) with Swiss bank BSI SA. The Non-Prosecution Agreement is likely the precursor to enhanced enforcement efforts by the DOJ and IRS against those...more

When Do Non-U.S. Citizens Pay Income Tax And Report Foreign Financial Accounts?

In a series of Frequently Asked Questions releases December 31, 2014, The Congressional Research Service provides some guidance on when non-U.S. citizens may be subject to U.S. income taxes....more

The Death Of Hidden Offshore Accounts

The future for offshore tax planning, also known as “aggressive tax planning” is likely to be limited to if not curtailed by the global exchange of information agreement signed in October, 2014 by 51 countries and growing....more

Happy Holidays – There is a Budget Deal, Now Look Out

The just passed budget deal known as Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 contains a reduction in funding for the IRS. The Bill provides a reduction in total IRS funding of $346 million less than last...more

Informal Surrender Of Green Card Doesn’t Work

The recent decision of the U.S.Tax Court, in Gerd Topsnik, (2014) makes it clear that an “informal” surrender of a Green Card, while recognized under immigration laws is not recognized for tax purposes....more

False Foreign Gift Claims and Wire Fraud

A scheme that some dual national taxpayers have used involves claiming exemption from foreign jurisdiction taxation because they are U.S. taxpayers and then not reporting the offshore account or its income as required by U.S....more

June 30 Deadline Approaches for Mandatory E-File FBAR Reporting

2014 presents particular challenges with respect to FBAR, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, for certain U.S. persons with interests in or signature authority over assets exceeding $10,000 held outside the...more

Will the Zwerner FBAR Fine Pass Constitutional Muster?

Last week, a federal jury in Miami found that Carl Zwerner had willfully failed to disclose his foreign bank account to the Treasury Department for calendar years 2004, 2005 and 2006. Zwerner now potentially owes the United...more

FBAR Penalty to Face Excessive Fines Clause Test

Last week, a federal jury in Miami found that Carl Zwerner had willfully failed to disclose his foreign bank account to the Treasury Department for calendar years 2004, 2005 and 2006. Zwerner now potentially owes the United...more

Indicted Banker May Provide Valuable Leads

The following is an excerpt from a press release issued April 30, 2014 by Department of Justice, Tax Division (DOJ) announcing the indictment of a former senior officer of the Beverly Hills branch of an Israeli bank. The...more

Deadlines Coming for Multinationals’ Retirement Plans and U.S. Taxpayers with Foreign Financial Interests

In 2010, the U.S. enacted a sweeping change in enforcement of its tax laws on foreign financial interests, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The main thrust of the act is to penalize foreign financial...more

FBAR Update

The Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) can no longer be filed on TDF 90-22.1, and must be e-filed on Form 114. This alert summarizes developments involving FBAR e-filing and signature authority. They are...more

Fiduciary Liability and Offshore Assets

Fiduciaries, like trustees and conservators, may face personal liability for wrongful acts in administering estates. Among the liabilities that a fiduciary may face is to the IRS for wrongful distributions such as those made...more

Willful Blindness-the Ostrich syndrome

Often taxpayer’s will claim that the did not know of their obligation to file a Report of Foreign Bank or Financial Account known as an FBAR. When pressed the fact pattern often begins with a statement like my tax advisor...more

No Records is Not an Acceptable Excuse

Often taxpayers who have not filed Reports of Foreign Bank or Financial Accounts (FBAR’s) will claim that they do not have records of their offshore accounts, because the accounts are maintained by third parties. In many...more

The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program: A Brief History And Overview Of The Complexities Involved In Disclosing Foreign Assets

The IRS and the Justice Department have increased their efforts regarding criminal investigation of international tax evasion. ...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds that Production of Foreign Bank Account Records May be Compelled in Criminal Investigation Under Required...

The Eleventh Circuit recently joined the Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits in holding that subpoenaed foreign financial records properly fall within the Required Records Exception to the Fifth Amendment privilege against...more

Offshore Banks, Required Records and Secret Funds Transfers: a Receipe for Disaster

Recently, two Israeli banks are reported to have agreed to cooperate in criminal tax investigations being conducted by the Criminal Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The specific actions allegedly involve a...more

FBAR Penalties and the Reasonable Cause Defense

Some taxpayer’s who think that they have properly relied on the advice of professionals and should therefore be able to avoid FBAR penalties need to consider what constitutes “reasonable cause”. First, the reasonable cause...more

Tax Traps Accompany EB-5 Visas

EB-5 Visas are sought after investment based pathways to a Green card. An EB-5 Visa is described in Wikipedia as follows...more

Must You Produce Records of Offshore Accounts?

A Petition to the U.S.Supreme Court may result in the Court deciding whether a taxpayer who has a previously unreported foreign financial account must produce records of the account in a criminal proceeding in spite of the...more

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