IRS Forces Full Disclosure for Overseas Accounts

I have an overseas account, but I didn’t think about this!

If you have a foreign account, you have until April 15 to file a FINCEN 114 form electronically (formally FBAR) with the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network if you had interest in or signature authority over at least one account outside of the U.S., and the aggregate value of all the foreign accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time in the year (even for an hour).  However, in its infinite wisdom, the US Treasury allows for a 6 month extension – but no form has been created (unlike for other filings), so it’s an automatic extension.

Also, if you meet certain thresholds, a form has to be included with your income tax return.

Single filers who reside in the U.S. must submit Fact Form 8938 if the total value of their foreign financial assets exceeds $50,000 on the last day of the tax year ($100,000 for joint filers) or if the value exceeds $75,000 at any time during the year ($150,000 for couples filing jointly).

Keeping secrets? Not from the IRS, we hope.

There are tons of people that have accounts overseas, for reasons both good and bad. Overseas bank accounts give account holders opportunities to invest internationally and guarantee international medical coverage! There are lots of perks with seeking international monetary safekeeping.

For example, you have parents who were born – and still live – overseas that you help to support. Their bank only has branches in that country. You wire money to that account from your bank here in the U.S.  You are technically on that account, even just as a signatory. On January 25th, you deposit $5,000 in that account that already has $5,500 USD in it. Then one day, your parents withdraw $10,400 USD to pay for something. That account never again has more than $10,000 in it. You still have a FINCEN 114 filing requirement.

If you are not declaring business receipts and keeping an account a secret, you’re taking illegal measures to keep tax-triggering facts and events secret. The IRS figured it out and is taking appropriate measures to collect their dues.

What if I Didn’t Report This?

You’ll be okay. For now. We can help you fill out a streamlined filing compliance and get you up-to-date if you weren’t aware of your filing obligations. There are 65,000 people who have jumped on this opportunity so far, but it won’t last forever.

If you fail to disclose these amounts, you could face a penalty of up to $10,000. If you continue to withhold the information even after the IRS notifies you of a failure to disclose, you may face a maximum penalty of $60,000, along with potential criminal penalties.

You don’t want to face the consequences associated with missing the reporting requirement – you may lose $100,000 or even 50% of what you’ve put in that bank account (assuming it’s a lot, people don’t typically open these without serious reasoning.) Set up a consultation as soon as you can to meet with an enrolled agent – like Jeffrey Schneider, EA, CTRS.

On September 28th, the IRS is shutting down its voluntary disclosure program. Those who have failed to report their overseas accounts could be subject to large fines, penalties, and criminal prosecution. As it turns out, more than 56,000 taxpayers stepped up to the plate after the program began in 2009 to report their foreign financial assets; they had to pay $11.1 billion in back taxes, interest, and penalties.

Let’s take care of you!

Jeffrey Schneider, EA, CTRS, NTPI Fellow has the knowledge and expertise to help you reach a favorable outcome with the IRS. He is the head honcho at SFS Tax Problem Solutions as well as an Enrolled Agent and a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist.
Now What? I Got A Tax Notice From The IRS. Help! Defining and deconstructing the scary and confusing letters that land in your mailbox. Jeff defines and deconstructs the scary and confusing letters in a fashion that mixes attention to detail with humor and an intricate clarification of what is what in the world of the IRS.

The book is available in paperback and ebook on
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