Navigating FBAR and FATCA's Enhanced Foreign Asset Reporting Rules
About this Program
For the past three years, much attention has been focused on offshore bank accounts and the obligation of U.S. taxpayers to report such accounts on the much-heralded Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts or "FBAR" form. The FBAR rules require taxpayers to annually report whether they have a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, foreign bank accounts, and impose substantial civil and criminal penalties for failing to do so. On the heels of the U.S. government's global crackdown on the use of secret foreign bank accounts, the Internal Revenue Service has recently imposed additional reporting requirements that will obligate U.S. taxpayers to annually disclose specified foreign financial assets when they file their personal income tax returns for 2011 and thereafter. The new foreign asset reporting rules, which are part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), signal a new era in foreign asset reporting by U.S. taxpayers, and significantly expand the disclosure requirements in scope and type well beyond what was previously required to be reported on the FBAR form. Join R. John Smith as he explores the new FATCA foreign asset reporting rules, provides an update on the existing FBAR reporting regime for foreign bank accounts, and discusses the U.S. government's enforcement efforts (both criminal and civil) in this area and the likely direction of future enforcement activity.
I. Overview of FBAR and FATCA Rules
II. What Foreign Assets Are Required to Be Reported?
III. Penalties for Nonfiling
IV. Update on FBAR Reporting Requirements
V. Criminal Enforcement of FBAR Reporting Requirements
Vi. The Likely Future of Enforcement Activity
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