Will Defendant Prove Unintentional FBAR Violation to California Court

Will Defendant Prove Unintentional FBAR Violation to California Court

Can a California Resident Prove her FBAR Violation was Unintentional

The case at issue is U.S. vs. Fariba Ely Cohen.

How are FBAR Violations Issued

So far, it has been an uphill climb for defendant. In an earlier ruling, the court held that the U.S. was not limited to a $100,000 Maximum FBAR penalty (not that Defendant was “willful,” but that the $100,000 was not the cap). This particular argument ($100,000 willful limitation) has lost steam over the past few months, with most courts siding against the $100K cap.

U.S. Pursues Summary Judgment

After winning on a partial summary judgment re: limitation of penalties, the U.S. is back and trying to move for Summary Judgment against Defendant on the issue of FBAR willfulness.

Summary Judgment and FBAR

With a summary judgment motion, the U.S. is trying to show that there is no genuine dispute of material fact sufficient to withstand the movant party’s motion to decide the case on the pleadings, and that Defendant was willful.

Of course, defendant is seeking to avoid this outcome, and lodged her own: “Defendant’s Statement of Genuine Disputes of Material Fact In Opposition To Motion For Summary Judgment.”

The purpose of Defendant’s motion is to withstand the summary judgment motion.

Can Defendant Show her actions were Unintentional?

Defendant wants to show her non-compliance was unintentional. This would work to show her actions were non-willful, and save her from FBAR willfulness penalties.

What are Defendant’s Arguments?

It appears from the pleadings that Defendant claims she did not necessarily sign nor authorize her ex-husband to sign on her behalf for several of the tax documents. And, when she did sign her own returns, it was under threat of physical, mental and emotional abuse from her ex-husband. In addition, it appears she is disputing specific knowledge about some of the foreign accounts. These facts would all go to her ability to have made an independent decision, and could reduce any violation to non-willful instead of willfulness – thereby reducing her penalty.

FBAR Attorney Specialist – Golding & Golding (Board-Certified)

We specialize exclusively in international tax, and specifically IRS offshore disclosure.

We have successfully represented clients in more than 1,000 streamlined and voluntary offshore disclosure submissions nationwide and in over 70-different countries. We have represented thousands of individuals and businesses with international tax problems.

We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants, and Financial Professionals across the globe.

We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants and Financial Professionals worldwide.

Less than 1% of Tax Attorneys Nationwide Are Certified Specialists

Sean M. Golding is one of less than 350 Attorneys (out of more than 200,000 practicing California Attorneys) to earn the Certified Tax Law Specialist credential. The credential is awarded to less than 1% of Attorneys.

Recent Golding & Golding Case Highlights

  • We represented a client in an 8-figure disclosure that spanned 7 countries.
  • We represented a high-net-worth client to facilitate a complex expatriation with offshore disclosure.
  • We represented an overseas family with bringing multiple businesses & personal investments into U.S. tax and offshore compliance.
  • We took over a case from a small firm that unsuccessfully submitted multiple clients to IRS Offshore Disclosure.
  • We successfully completed several recent disclosures for clients with assets ranging from $50,000 – $7,000,000+.
How to Hire Experienced Streamlined Counsel?

How to Hire Experienced Streamlined Counsel?

How to Hire Experienced FBAR Counsel?

Generally, experienced attorneys in this field will have the following credentials/experience:

  • Board Certified Tax Law Specialist credential
  • Master’s of Tax Law (LL.M.)
  • Dually Licensed as an EA (Enrolled Agent) or CPA
  • 20-years experience as a practicing attorney
  • Extensive litigation, high-stakes audit and trial experience

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Golding & Golding specializes in FBAR and FATCA. Contact our firm today for assistance with getting compliant.

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