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Does your child need to file an FBAR?

The Report of Foreign Bank accounts, also known as the FBAR was a tool invented by congress in 1970 to make it difficult for criminal masterminds around the world to use the international banking system to facilitate their criminal mastermind plans. And because of that, any US person regardless of age or mental abilities must file an FBAR should their foreign bank accounts exceed $10,000 in the aggregate. Again, believe it or not this requirement extends to someone who is disabled or is a child - even a baby. Read more to find out why

Common FBAR errors

The FBAR form is a reporting requirement for certain foreign financial accounts. The penalties for failing to file an FBAR are no joke. The IRS can apply a $10,000 penalty for each non-willful violation of the filing requirement.

Streamlined Offshore Disclosure Eligibility

When trying to determine if you are eligible for the IRS Streamlined Offshore Disclosure Program, the first thing to ask yourself is, "Do I have criminal exposure?” If the answer is yes, it's likely in your best interest to avoid the Streamlined program altogether; instead, you would probably ...

US Expat Unfiled Tax Returns: Action For Damage Control

Are you a US expat who hasn’t filed tax returns recently? Have overseas bank accounts? Are you freaking out about FBAR, OVDP, and tons of other acronyms you knew nothing about until recently? There is hope.

A win for the government? Unpacking the meaning of the Bussell FBAR decision

After a string of losses, the government has finally gotten an FBAR penalty win. After a review of the case, we find the “win” is incredibly limited in scope. Although we expect the IRS to claim the case means far more than it does, I will explain why the result was rather a foregone conclusion — the bad facts Letantia Bussell had to over overcome were too onerous.

The Bedrosian FBAR case: Another Victory

A recent case in the Third Circuit, Arthur Bedrosian v. United States of America, resulted in a huge win for the taxpayer. Yet it was another loss, after Pomerantz and Hom, for the government, which the court ruled failed to meet the burden for proving a willful FBAR penalty violation. After the entire findings of fact and conclusions of law follows this analysis.

Can you amend FBARs?

Yes. It is possible to amend FBAR forms. But should you? Or should you get an expert to file it for you?

The Pomerantz FBAR victory -- for now

FBAR penalties cannot be collected like regular taxes. In order to enforce collections, a civil judgement is required. The IRS civilly assessed Mr. Pomerantz FBAR willful penalties and interest on unreported accounts. Things did not go well for the government

Delinquent tax returns and FBAR amnesty

Having unfiled taxes is actually quite common, so let’s talk about options if you have unfiled taxes, including unfiled international reporting forms like the FBAR. More and more people are addressing this issue since the law passed saying that your passport can be...

FBAR filing - Can it trigger an audit?

Why is it so important to understand the difference between being "willful", and being "non-willful" when it comes to FBAR filing? And what are your chances of going through an FBAR audit? ...

Can you beat the 63% average score? Take the FBAR knowledge challenge

The consequences of filing an incorrect FBAR can be very severe. Before you file your FBAR, ask yourself, how well do you know the intricacies of the law? Take the IRSMedic FBAR challenge quiz now.

Willful "Blindness" and Willful FBAR Penalties

It is nearly impossible to prove willfulness. The IRS, though, has a trick. It only need to prove willful blindness. The "willful blindness" state of mind argued by the IRS is so broad it could be applied to anyone who has not filed an FBAR. 

Calculating FBAR Balances

Your FBARs (FinCEN Report 114) are now due on the date your tax return is due. The form requires you to fill in your high balance of the year, but answering this seemingly simple question can get baffling complicated. Here we'll cover some of the most common issues.

"No" on Schedule B Part III line 7a?

You are required to file Schedule B with your IRS form 1040 each year if among other reasons, you had a financial interest in, or signature authority over a foreign financial account. On Schedule B Part III line 7a, the form specifically asks you to state whether or not you had a foreign account. The problem is...

FBAR audit success

Reginald called our office in early 2014. He was a US citizen who had been living in Germany since the 1990s. He met and married a wonderful woman and they had a beautiful family together. All things said, he made his life there and Germany was his home. Reginald was very successful in...

Streamlined Foreign Offshore Eligibility

The liberalized 2014 Streamlined Foreign Offshore Process eligibility were on June 18, 2014 and remain in effect as of this writing.  There are many benefits to this disclosure program, mainly a 0% offshore penalty by default. In this article, we outline the steps to determine if you are eligible, and the procedure to complete a successful streamlined...

OVDP 5% Penalty: Do you qualify?

With the standard 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Penalty at 27.5%, many people in the program and those considering the program, look longingly at the OVDP 5% penalty wondering if it can apply to them. While there still there is a 5% OVDP penalty, its nature has changed so much, this original article is best used to demonstrate the evolution of the IRS OVDI/OVDP...

FBAR penalties and bankruptcy

FBAR penalties can be massive. Willful penalties can be as high as 50% of the account value. A question that many people facing this financial threat ask is "are FBAR penalties dischargable in Chapter 7 ...

Understanding the IRS OVDP Offshore Penalty

The current 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program presents taxpayers faced with a potentially high IRS offshore penalty (up to 50% of foreign account value per year, for unfiled FBARs) the chance to disclose their foreign assets voluntarily and accept an IRS Offshore Penalty of 27.5%, ...

How long should I keep my tax records?

Maybe you've heard that you should hang on to your tax records for 3 years, maybe you heard 6 years, maybe 7, or even 10.  But, as we will explain, the best answer may be: "for as ...

DOJ muffs up international asset reporting rules

The issue I have with the quoted paragraph is the claim that taxpayers must "identify the country where the account was maintained." But this is only true if the FBAR... Saul Hyatt, 53, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson of the District of New Jersey to an Information charging him with conspiracy to conceal assets in an undeclared bank account held in Panama for his ...

American Citizens Abroad - Helping expats with SDFCU

American Citizens Abroad (ACA) is a great non - profit organization that helps US citizens living and working in foreign countries...

What is a foreign bank account?

Thanks to the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, U.S. citizens must file a "Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts" if they have a financial interest in, or authority over, "foreign bank accounts" or "foreign financial accounts" that have an aggregate value of ...

FBAR Penalty Guide

When people hear that FBAR penalties could potentially be up to 50% of your account balance, they rightfully get upset. The world of FBAR penalties is a large, complicated one. We've created this FBAR Penalty guide to help you muddle through.

FBAR filing tips

Many people assume that only bank accounts need to be reported on the FBAR. This is incorrect. Some things you might not realize need to be included on your FBAR form: 1) Fixed deposits 2)Life insurance policies 3) Mutual funds 4) Some pensions...

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