News & Analysis as of

Virtual Reality: IRS Provides Guidance on the Treatment of Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency Transactions

On March 25, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2014-21 (the Notice), which provides guidance regarding the tax treatment of Bitcoins and other virtual currency through a series of “frequently asked...more

Is Mental Disease or Impairment a defense to “Willfulness” penalties for FBAR purposes?

In a pending civil penalty case in Florida the government puts forth its argument in clear language to describe what constitutes “willful” failure to file a Report of Foreign Financial Account (FBAR). In its Motion for...more

FBAR and Form 8938 Assistance Provided by Treasury

There are a multitude of information returns that United States taxpayers may need to file if they own foreign assets or have foreign investments. Two of these forms are the FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) and Form 8938...more

FBAR E-Filing and Signature Authority: What You Need to Know

Much has been written about the IRS's dogged pursuit of taxpayers with unreported foreign accounts. These accounts are reported on the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) when a taxpayer has a financial...more

Tax Law Blog: The Impact of FATCA

The U.S. government loses an estimated $150 billion in revenue each year from offshore tax shelters. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which became law in March 2010, is designed to prevent tax evasion by U.S....more

Arizona Businessmen Receive Lenient Sentences For Stashing Millions in Secret Swiss Accounts

Bloomberg BNA is reporting that two prominent Phoenix businessmen were each sentenced to 10 months in prison for their roles in a scheme to stash more than $8 million in secret offshore Swiss bank accounts and for not...more

Nonresident Alien Spouse Not Liable for Penalties

There are an unknown number of U.S. citizens married to nonresident aliens. Many of these taxpayers have filed joint income tax returns. Most are likely to have filed joint income tax returns (Form 1040) without having...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

IRS Seeking 50% x 4 Penalties In FBAR Nonreporting Case

Taxpayers are required to disclose their ownership interests in foreign bank and financial accounts by filing a Form TD F 90-22.1, ...more

Should Married Nonresident Aliens Elect Joint Return Status?

The recent decisions of the US Supreme Court, (in the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 cases) to strike down anti-gay marriage legislation may very well produce an increase in immigrant marriages. The actual number...more

Deadline To File FBARs Quickly Approaching

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a foreign bank account. The problem comes along when the existence of the account is not disclosed and income associated with the account is not reported....more

Don't Miss the FBAR Filing Deadline

Despite the Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) publishing final regulations for reporting bank accounts, securities accounts and other financial accounts located in a foreign country on...more

Indian American Neurosurgeon Sentenced to Probation for Unreported Offshore Bank Accounts

On February 1, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin sentenced Arvind Ahuja, a Milwaukee neurosurgeon, to serve three years of probation and to pay a fine of $350,000 following his conviction by...more

OVDP or 50% FBAR Willfulness Penalty; It is Your Choice

The Criminal Tax Division of the U.S. Dept of Justice (DOJ)is taking the position that when a taxpayer has “willfully” failed to file a Report of Foreign Bank or Financial Account, an FBAR, and has in addition filed false...more

DOJ Revokes Some Pre-Clearances for Bank Leumi Depositors

A recent press release should send a shudder to some voluntary disclosure participants. It should frighten some tax preparers and their clients....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

New Jersey Businessman With NRI Account Pleads Guilty to Using Offshore Bank Accounts to Defraud the U.S. and Pays $2.37 Million...

Sanjay Sethi, a New Jersey businessman, pleaded guilty on January 7, 2013 to using hidden offshore bank accounts to defraud the U.S. in a so-called “Klein conspiracy.”...more

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