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FBAR & FATCA (Foreign Accounts) Archives

Willful vs. non-willful compliance with FBAR/FATCA

FBAR and FATCA violations are either willful or non-willful in nature. The penalties for inadvertent or non-willful violations are understandably lesser than those for willful non-compliance. The IRS punishes those who non-willfully violate FBAR filing mandates with penalties of up to $10,000 per non-complying tax year.

FATCA challenge dismissed by federal appeals court

A group of several Americans living abroad - who call themselves "Republicans Overseas" - have vowed to continue their fight against the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in spite of a recent dismissal of their claims by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Do bitcoin users need to file an FBAR?

Bitcoins are one example of a new form of currency referred to as cryptocurrency, digital currency or virtual currency. It is a type of currency purchased and exchanged online. Users may wonder whether or not their actions with these types of digital assets are in compliance with United States tax laws. Unfortunately, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has yet to provide any definitive guidelines. The federal agency was recently chastised by Congress for a lack of clarity and called to put together "additional guidance on the tax consequences and basic tax reporting requirements" for those who use cryptocurrency.

Extension is now automatic if the FBAR filing deadline is missed

If you are required to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, known as an FBAR, and also called FinCEN Form 114, you may think you have plenty of time to meet this year's deadline -- if you think the filing date is June 30. 

The streamlined offshore reporting processes and willfulness

The concept of willfulness in the context of non-compliance with tax reporting and payment regulations concerning offshore accounts has been a popular topic in legal circles lately. So much so that the American Bar Association recently held a conference dealing specifically with important issues in that arena.

Offshore update, part 2: Can Uncle Sam tax foreign earnings?

In the first part of this post, we sketched the evolving compliance landscape for offshore accounts and income. With the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) taking effect, U.S. account holders with foreign assets find themselves under more scrutiny than ever before.

IRS declares new offshore disclosure programs a success

Earlier this week, the IRS released a statement saying that its voluntary offshore disclosure programs are working. Programs such as the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, (often referred to as FBAR) which requires a Form TD F 90-22.1; and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) on Form 8938 have helped the IRS recover more than $5 billion in penalties, interest and back taxes in the last couple years.

If I close my foreign bank account, do I have to report it?

Closing your foreign bank account does not excuse you from disclosing it. With the end of the offshore bank account amnesty program called the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative, the consequences for not disclosing your foreign bank accounts is even greater. Transparency is truly the best policy. Those who do not follow these 10 rules may face at least five years in prison, three years of supervised probation and up to $250,000 in fines and fees.

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