The Basics of Foreign Accounts Compliance (FBAR & FATCA)

The Basics of Foreign Accounts Compliance (FBAR & FATCA)

How to Disclose Offshore Assets & Accounts and Compliance Tips: The IRS has significantly increased enforcement of offshore reporting and disclosure of foreign accounts, assets, investments and income. The failure to properly comply with reporting requirements may lead to excessive fines and penalties.

How to Disclose Offshore Assets & Accounts: Compliance Tips

Foreign Accounts Compliance is a global phenomenon. In other words, reporting is not limited to the U.S. The U.S. has entered into agreement with more than 110 countries to facilitate enforcement. Moreover, even outside the U.S., foreign accounts compliance transparency has become a major enforcement priority.

Foreign Accounts Compliance is the concept of accurately and timely reporting foreign accounts to the U.S. government. Depending the facts and circumstances, this may include compliance with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Department of Justice (DOJ).

Even though the most common term used is “Accounts,” the reporting involves all different types of assets, investments, and income.

Some examples of these accounts, include:

  • Bank Accounts
  • Investment Accounts
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Mutual Funds
  • Pension and Retirement Accounts

How are Offshore Accounts Reported?

There are various reporting requirements, depending on the type of account and value of the account. Some of the reporting requirements are mutual exclusive, and other requirements may overlap.

Some of the more common reporting requirements involve:

  • FBAR: Foreign Bank and Financial Account Reporting
  • FATCA: Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank & Financial Accounts aka FinCEN Form 114)

FBAR refers to Foreign Bank and Financial Account Reporting. FBAR reporting is nothing new, and has been around for many years (since the 1970s). The threshold reporting requirements are (relatively) low, and the failure to properly report the FBAR may result in fines and penalties. The penalties may range from a warning letter in lieu of penalty, all the way up to a 50% penalty on the maximum value of the unreported balance.

FATCA (Foreign Accounts Tax and Compliance Act)

FATCA is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. FATCA is a relatively newer reporting requirement. There are different reporting requirements for institutions vs. individuals and other taxpayers reporting on their tax returns. Also, unlike the FBAR, the filing requirements and reporting thresholds will vary based on the status of the filer, and whether or not the filer is a U.S. resident or foreign resident.

Foreign Accounts Compliance Attorneys – 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 Streamlined 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

Interested in Learning More about Golding & Golding?

No matter where in the world you reside, our international tax team can get you IRS offshore compliant. 

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

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