Monthly Archives: May 2014

Zwerner: Jury Determines 150% FBAR Penalty Applies – Excessive Fines Clause to the Rescue??

“Mr. Zwerner appears to have come into compliance under the then applicable voluntary disclosure practice set for in the IRS’s Internal Revenue Manual, Example 6(A) at a time when there was no formal program regarding the voluntary disclosure of previously undisclosed interests in offshore financial accounts. Unfortunately, IRM only speaks to the voluntary disclosure being a factor considered by the IRS in the determination of a referral for criminal prosecution by the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. It has no formal impact on any IRS civil penalty determination although, historically, a timely voluntary disclosure has received favorable consideration in the civil penalty arena as well.”

TAXLITIGATOR - Tax Controversy (Civil & Criminal) Report

U.S. taxpayers with previously undisclosed interests in foreign financial accounts and assets continue to analyze and seek advice regarding the most appropriate methods of coming into compliance with their U.S. filing and reporting obligations. Many are pursuing participation in the current IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program (the OVDP which began in 2012), modeled after similar programs in 2009 and 2011.

Taxpayers participating in the ongoing 2012 OVDP generally agree to file amended returns and file FBARs for eight tax years, pay the appropriate taxes and interest together with an accuracy related penalty equivalent to 20 percent of any income tax deficiency and an “FBAR-related” penalty (in lieu of all other potentially applicable penalties associated with a foreign financial account or entity) of 27.5 percent of the highest account value that existed at any time during the prior eight tax years.

QUIET DISCLOSURES. There remain alternatives to the OVDP, including the voluntary…

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#Americansabroad defend the homeland militarily and diplomatically

Robert Wood, posted a “Memorial Day Article” drawing attention to the renunciations of U.S. citizenship. The very first comment was from a Homelander who is an adherent of the “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” principle. This particular Homelander writes:

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Edward Karr explains US constitutional challenge to #FATCA and renunciations of US citizenshp


This is a very interesting discussion of a number of things including:

1. Jim Bopp and Republicans Overseas challenge to the constitutionality of FATCA. Nice outline of the grounds including subjecting Americans abroad to cruel and unusual punishment. FATCA is sure to exacerbate the tensions between Homelanders and Americans abroad.

2. Statement that Americans abroad are being forced to renounce U.S. citizenship.

As I watch this video, I ponder the question:

How can the United States be so stupid?

@AARO debriefing on #FBAR #FATCA renunciations and more

This is a very interesting video from AARO about their recent trip to Washington. Note the part at the end where they talk (NOT about renouncing U.S. citizenship) but about the fact that the renunciations are being noticed in DC.

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#FATCA and #FBAR: The evolution of the unintended to the willful

The above tweet references an interesting comment at the Isaac Brock Society which includes:

I think you are right. The fact is, even if “the little guys” were not the original intended targets they could have fixed the FATCA problem easily, right after the launch of the pogrom, and the key is they did NOT fix it. They could still fix it but instead they only seem to double-down on their hubris and economic hegemony. Someone, somewhere in the shadows of the US government, decided US emigrants and US immigrants would be easy pickins and by using the techniques of Edward Bernays they could quickly and indelibly brand their FATCA victims as cheats and whiners so that nobody would care what happened to them … some would even cheer on and profit from the misfortune of the branded ones. Creating a thriving compliance condor industry falls right in line with advancing the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) economy over the production economy. I think FIRE is an appropriate acronym because this might eventually take us all down in flames — certainly the F’n part anyway. It almost happened in 2008 but of course the bankster bail-out was there to ensure the game would go on … for awhile longer at least.


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@JoeBwan writes about the shocking story of the #FBAR Fundraiser


The above tweet references an excellent series of posts written by CPA Joe Kristan about Commissioner Shulman’s tenure as IRS Commissioner and the FBAR Fundraiser. This collection of posts are among the best ever written about FBAR, OVDI and the like. Most of these were written during the “OVDI Terrorism” years of 2009 – 2012. While I’m at at it, here is some of my commentary during this period:

The taxpayer, the IRS and the “professionals” – where to go from here

(This includes links to another four posts on this topic.)

Taxpayer Advocate vs. The IRS – It’s a question of trust

(And when the IRS reintroduced the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program)

IRS reopens the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and promises new procedures for U.S. citizens living outside the United States

It is a truly incredible story.It is an example of such incredible abuse of Americans abroad and U.S. Green Card Holders that it is deserving of a book of its own.

I have followed this story from the beginning and written a number of posts about Mr. FBAR and “The FBAR Fundraiser”.  It’s even possible that the IRS may have contributed to the failure of Americans abroad to file the FBAR.

The site of American Citizens Abroad has substantial information on the problems of FBAR and Americans abroad.

Please note that Mr. FBAR must now be filed online and only online. Mr. FBAR even has a new name. He’s called: FinCen 114.

Frankly, I don’t know how any government could do this to its citizens or lawful permanent residents.  What is wrong with these people?