FBAR & Voluntary Disclosure

 swiss bankIf you have reached this page, it is probably the middle of the night and you cannot sleep. You heard somewhere, from someone, that the Internal Revenue Service has recently hired 15,000 new Agents and has made international tax enforcement a priority. Furthermore, you have probably been confronted with acronyms like “FBAR,” “FINCEN,” “FATCA” and a myriad of obscure terms that all led you to the question – how much trouble am I in, and how can I start sleeping again?

The good news is that the IRS has extended (indefinitely) the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and continues to accept taxpayers at a significantly reduced civil penalty and withholding of criminal penalties.

General Information:

  • What is an FBAR?
  • What are the potential criminal penalties/charges?
  • What are the penalties for failure to file an FBAR?
  • What is a Voluntary Disclosure?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is an FBAR?

An FBAR, a “Foreign Bank and Financial Account Report,” is IRS Form 90-22.1, which is an informational return each U.S. person must complete on an annual basis if such U.S. person has an interest or signature authority over foreign bank or financial account which held, at any time during the year, an aggregate balance of $10,000 or more. Being an “informational return,” there is tax liability associated with this disclosure; it merely requires that U.S. persons report the existence of their foreign accounts that fall within the parameters.

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