News & Analysis as of

Part V - Minimizing Risk Of Criminal Prosicution By Meeting Requirements For A Voluntary Discover In IRM 9.5.11.9

Below is Part 5 of my partner, Rick Josepher’s, analysis of the new offshore enforcement environment in light of the new 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Procedures....more

Streamline Certification Advice

Effective July 1, 2014 new Streamline Procedures for voluntary disclosures may provide some taxpayers the opportunity to pay a substantially reduced or no penalty FBAR penalty depending upon whether they are domestic or...more

Part 3 – The Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures

Below is Part 3 of my partner, Rick Josepher’s, analysis of the new offshore enforcement environment in light of the new 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Procedures....more

Part 2 - The IRS’ New 2014 Offshore Volunteer Disclosure Procedures

Below is Part 2 of my partner, Rick Josepher’s, analysis of the new offshore enforcement environment in light of the new 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Procedures. To view this Part, and all prior parts, in PDF format...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

IRS Eases Access to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs

The changes give taxpayers who mistakenly failed to report foreign assets a simpler path back to tax compliance. On June 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced major modifications to the terms of its...more

IRS Identifies ‘Attorneys-in-Fact’ as Potentially Required to File Under the Foreign Bank Account Reporting Rules

Most United States persons who have foreign financial accounts are aware that they must file an annual report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with respect to these accounts. Less well known, however, is that individuals...more

IRS Announces Major Changes to OVDP

On June 18, 2014, the IRS announced major changes to the OVDP, including a major expansion of the so-called Streamlined Program and an increased penalties for taxpayers who held accounts at banks that are under criminal...more

Bitcoins Do Not Require FBAR Filing

I have been posting a lot of FBAR-related posts lately. Here’s one more. There has been a question whether owners of “bitcoins” and other virtual currencies that have non-U.S. aspects, are subject to annual reporting...more

IRS Unveils New Compliance Program

According to the Miriam Webster dictionary, credibility is defined as "the quality or power of inspiring belief." When IRS Commissioner John Koskinen took office, one of his many roles involved trying to restore the integrity...more

IRS Releases Bitcoin Guidance; May Have A Chilling Effect On Virtual Currency

Last week, the IRS released IRS Notice 2014-21 (the “Notice”), its first guidance on the income tax treatment of virtual currency, including, bitcoin. A copy of the notice can be obtained at...more

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

Who Is a U.S. Person? Disparities Between U.S. Tax and Immigration Law

The question of who is a U.S. person has always been relevant for tax purposes because it determines who is subject to (a) U.S. income, gift and estate tax, (b) filing Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBARs), and (c) the ‘‘exit...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

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