Federal law requires U.S. taxpayers (both citizens and permanent residents) to annually file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, FinCen Form 114, commonly referred to as an “FBAR,” if they own or are signatories to foreign financial accounts with a collective total value exceeding $10,000. Federal law also provides for severe penalties for failure to file an FBAR. These range from civil penalties of $10,000 for “non-willful” failure to file, to criminal penalties of $500,000 and up to ten years in prison for willful violations.
Frequently taxpayers are simply unaware of these obligations under Federal law. For example, they may have inherited foreign accounts with which they haven't had much interaction, or perhaps they were jointly listed on an account with a foreign national. Even in such situations, if the taxpayers did not file an FBAR, and the collective total of the accounts was greater than $10,000, they are in violation of Federal law.
There are several programs currently offered by the Department of the Treasury to resolve outstanding FBAR issues and significantly minimize penalties. Our Firm has the knowledge to assist you with your FBAR issues and to help you to stay compliant with FBAR filing obligations. It is imperative you act before you receive any notifications from the IRS. Once you receive notice from the IRS, you will not be eligible for any of the beneficial voluntary disclosure programs.