Reasonable Cause Delinquent FBAR
Reasonable Cause Delinquent FBAR: The IRS has made the enforcement of foreign accounts compliance a key priority. Therefore, for U.S. Taxpayer with unreported foreign account and assets, it is important they get into compliance before they are penalized. The reasonable cause delinquent FBAR guidelines are important.
Submitting a late or delinquent FBAR is not as simple as just going back and filing for prior years, or starting to file in the current year (‘Filing Forward). Both of these options are illegal, and referred to as “quiet or silent disclosure”
The IRS has various guidelines to follow on issues involving reasonable cause.
IRM Reasonable Cause Filing Guidelines
The follow excerpt is provided by the IRM (Internal Revenue Manual):
“Reasonable cause is based on all the facts and circumstances in each situation and allows the IRS to provide relief from a penalty that would otherwise apply. Reasonable cause relief is generally granted when the taxpayer exercised ordinary business care and prudence in determining his or her tax obligations but was nevertheless unable to comply with those obligations.
In the interest of equitable treatment of the taxpayer and effective tax administration, the non-assertion or abatement of certain civil penalties based on reasonable cause or other relief provisions provided in this IRM must be made in a consistent manner and should conform with the considerations specified in the IRC.
Reasonable cause relief is not available for all penalties; however, other exceptions may apply.
For those penalties where reasonable cause can be considered, any reason which establishes that the taxpayer exercised ordinary business care and prudence, but nevertheless was unable to comply with a prescribed duty within the prescribed time, will be considered.
If a reasonable cause provision applies only to a specific IRC section, that reasonable cause provision will be discussed in the IRM 20.1 section relating to that specific IRC section.
When considering the information provided in the following subsections, remember that an acceptable explanation is not limited to those given in IRM 20.1. Penalty relief may be warranted based on an “other acceptable explanation,” provided the taxpayer exercised ordinary business care and prudence but was nevertheless unable to comply within the prescribed time. See IRM 188.8.131.52.2.2, Ordinary Business Care and Prudence.
The wording used to describe reasonable cause provisions varies. Some IRC penalty sections also require evidence that the taxpayer acted in good faith or that the taxpayer’s failure to comply with the law was not due to willful neglect. See specific IRM 20.1 sections for the rules that apply to a specific IRC penalty section. See IRM 184.108.40.206.2, Organization of IRM 20.1.
Taxpayers have reasonable cause when their conduct justifies the non-assertion or abatement of a penalty. Each case must be judged individually based on the facts and circumstances at hand. Consider the following in conjunction with specific criteria identified in the remainder of this subsection”
When Does Reasonable Cause NOT Exist
As further provided by the IRS:
“Reasonable cause does not exist if, after the facts and circumstances that explain the taxpayer’s noncompliant behavior cease to exist, the taxpayer fails to comply with the tax obligation within a reasonable period of time.”
Golding & Golding: About Our International Tax Law Firm
Golding & Golding specializes exclusively in international tax, and specifically IRS offshore disclosure.
Contact our firm today for assistance with getting compliant.