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Structuring Cash Deposits, Withdrawals, & Transactions is Risky Business

Structuring Cash Deposits, Withdrawals, & Transactions is Risky Business

Structuring Money (Cash Deposits) to avoid the issuance of a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) is considered illegal. Artificially structuring (reducing) the amount of cash deposit(s), withdrawals or other cash transactions to avoid cash deposit limits (and the issuance of a CTR) is the definition of structuring.

Structuring

Structuring Cash Deposits, Withdrawals, & Transactions is Risky Business by Golding & Golding

Structuring Cash Deposits, Withdrawals, & Transactions is Risky Business by Golding & Golding

Why are Structuring Transactions considered illegal? Because you are intentionally evading reporting transactions to the U.S. Government by “structuring” financial transactions to be below reporting thresholds (typically $10,000). 

In essence the

Common issues involving structuring include:

  • What is the definition of Structuring?
  • What is a Cash Transaction Report?
  • Why is Structuring illegal?
  • How Can I get Caught Structuring?
  • How do I avoid a Criminal Investigation and Penalties?

Structuring Cash Transactions

Unfortunately, sometimes the failure to comply with basic offshore and foreign account reporting requirements can lead a person into a serious situation with Internal Revenue Service.

This is often true when a person has intentionally structured cash transactions abroad, so that less than a certain amount of money is being transferred back and forth from overseas to the United States — in order to avoid reporting under the Bank Secrecy Act.

What is Structuring Cash Transactions?

The situation will typically go something like this: A person has to transfer significant amounts of money overseas. But, the person is also aware that in accordance with financial institution reporting rules, certain financial disclosure are required to be reported for transactions that exceed $10,000 or more (there are other reporting thresholds, but this is the most common). Also, there is the potential that the bank may file a SAR (Suspicious Activity Report)

Therefore, instead of transferring hundred of thousand dollars overseas in one shot, a person will transfer spurts of $9500 dollars (or similar amounts) in order to avoid the Currency Transaction Reporting requirement.

On a larger scale, a person may issue multiple $9500 payments into multiple bank accounts each month worldwide to move millions of dollars offshore. 

Structuring Defined

The IRM (Internal Revenue Manual) summarizes Structuring as follows:

The definition of structuring for the purpose of evading the transactions in currency reporting is found at 31 CFR 1010.100 et seq. The elements of the structuring regulations are:

  • A person acting alone, in conjunction with others, or on behalf of others
  • Conducts or attempts to conduct
  • One or more transactions in currency
  • In any amount
  • At one or more financial institutions
  • On one or more days
  • In any manner

When Does the Financial Institution Report A CTR?

Each financial institution (other than a casino, which instead must file FinCEN Form 103, and the U.S. Postal Service for which there are separate rules) must file FinCEN Form 104 (CTR) for each deposit, withdrawal, exchange of currency, or other payment or transfer, by, through, or to the financial institution which involves a transaction in currency of more than $10,000.

Multiple transactions must be treated as a single transaction if the financial institution has knowledge that (1) they are by or on behalf of the same person, and (2) they result in either currency received (Cash In) or currency disbursed (Cash Out) by the financial institution totaling more than $10,000 during any one business day.

For a bank, a business day is the day on which transactions are routinely posted to customers’ accounts, as normally communicated to depository customers. For all other financial institutions, a business day is a calendar day. Generally, financial institutions are defined as banks, other types of depository institutions, brokers or dealers in securities, money transmitters, currency exchangers, check cashers, and issuers and sellers of money orders and traveler’s checks. Should you have questions, see the definitions in 31 CFR Chapter X.

*While exceptions, exclusions and limitations apply, this is the general rule.

What is a Financial Institution?

Generally, financial institutions are defined as banks, other types of depository institutions, brokers or dealers in securities, money transmitters, currency exchangers, check cashers, and issuers and sellers of money orders and traveler’s checks.

What is a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR)?

Essentially, a SAR gives the bank authority to report “suspicious transactions.” While this is a good thing (in moderation) it can lead down a very slippery slope, especially in determining who has authority to deem you and your transaction(s)…”suspicious.” This is true, even if the amount of the transaction is LESS than $10,000.

31 CFR 1020.320 – Suspicious Activity Report(s)

This code sections requires certain reporting by banks. Specifically:

“Every bank shall file with the Treasury Department, to the extent and in the manner required by this section, a report of any suspicious transaction relevant to a possible violation of law or regulation.

A bank may also file with the Treasury Department by using the Suspicious Activity Report specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section or otherwise, a report of any suspicious transaction that it believes is relevant to the possible violation of any law or regulation but whose reporting is not required by this section.

(2) A transaction requires reporting under the terms of this section if it is conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank, it involves or aggregates at least $5,000 in funds or other assets, and the bank knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that:

(i) The transaction involves funds derived from illegal activities or is intended or conducted in order to hide or disguise funds or assets derived from illegal activities (including, without limitation, the ownership, nature, source, location, or control of such funds or assets) as part of a plan to violate or evade any Federal law or regulation or to avoid any transaction reporting requirement under Federal law or regulation;

(ii) The transaction is designed to evade any requirements of this chapter or of any other regulations promulgated under the Bank Secrecy Act; or (iii) The transaction has no business or apparent lawful purpose or is not the sort in which the particular customer would normally be expected to engage, and the bank knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction.”

SAR Form Instructions (Summarized)

All financial institutions operating in the United States, including insured banks, savings associations, savings association service corporations, credit unions, bank holding companies, nonbank subsidiaries of bank holding companies, Edge and Agreement corporations, and U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks, are required to make this report following the discovery of:

a. Insider abuse involving any amount.

Whenever the financial institution detects any known or suspected Federal criminal violation, or pattern of criminal violations, committed or attempted against the financial institution or involving a transaction or transactions conducted through the financial institution, where the financial institution believes that it was either an actual or potential victim of a criminal violation, or series of criminal violations, or that the financial institution was used to facilitate a criminal transaction, and the financial institution has a substantial basis for identifying one of its directors, officers, employees, agents or other institution-affiliated parties as having committed or aided in the commission of a criminal act regardless of the amount involved in the violation.

b. Violations aggregating $5,000 or more where a suspect can be identified

Whenever the financial institution detects any known or suspected Federal criminal violation, or pattern of criminal violations, committed or attempted against the financial institution or involving a transaction or transactions conducted through the financial institution and involving or aggregating $5,000 or more in funds or other assets, where the financial institution believes that it was either an actual or potential victim of a criminal violation, or series of criminal violations, or that the financial institution was used to facilitate a criminal transaction, and the financial institution has a substantial basis for identifying a possible suspect or group of suspects.

c. Violations aggregating $25,000 or more regardless of a potential suspect.

Whenever the financial institution detects any known or suspected Federal criminal violation, or pattern of criminal violations, committed or attempted against the financial institution or involving a transaction or transactions conducted through the financial institution and involving or aggregating $25,000 or more in funds or other assets, where the financial institution believes that it was either an actual or potential victim of a criminal violation, or series of criminal violations, or that the financial institution was used to facilitate a criminal transaction, even though there is no substantial basis for identifying a possible suspect or group of suspects.

d. Transactions aggregating $5,000 or more that involve potential money laundering or violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.

Any transaction (which for purposes of this subsection means a deposit, withdrawal, transfer between accounts, exchange of currency, loan, extension of credit, purchase or sale of any stock, bond, certificate of deposit, or other monetary instrument or investment security, or any other payment, transfer, or delivery by, through, or to a financial institution, by whatever means effected) conducted or attempted by, at or through the financial institution and involving or aggregating $5,000 or more in funds or other assets, if the financial institution knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that…Click here to the extended definition.

i. The transaction involves funds derived from illegal activities or is intended or conducted in order to hide or disguise funds or assets derived from illegal activities (including, without limitation, the ownership, nature, source, location, or control of such funds or assets) as part of a plan to violate or evade any law or regulation or to avoid any transaction reporting requirement under Federal law;

ii. The transaction is designed to evade any regulations promulgated under the Bank Secrecy Act; or

iii. The transaction has no business or apparent lawful purpose or is not the sort in which the particular customer would normally be expected to engage, and the financial institution knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction…Click here to the extended definition.

You May Avoid CTR and SAR, But…

By executing transfers in smaller denominations, even though the financial institution may be none the wiser re: a CTR or SAR, you may have a FBAR and FATCA reporting as well if it involves foreign accounts or assets. And, that is where the trouble lies.

FBAR Reporting 

A person is required to report an FBAR on any day of the year they have more than $10,000 dollars in annual total of their foreign accounts.  The penalties for failing to file this form can be very severe.

And, if the IRS determines that you were willful, the penalties may reach upwards of 100% value of the maximum balance on the foreign accounts.

The requirement of currency transaction is being reported in accordance with the banking secrecy, which is the same Government body relating to the reporting and disclosure of foreign accounts.

FATCA is Used to Located Undisclosed Foreign Accounts

FATCA is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. There are many different thresholds with respect to FATCA in determining who has to file, but if you are engaging in Structuring Cash Transactions, there is a relatively high chance that you will meet one of the threshold requirements.

While the penalties for not reporting under FATCA are not as severe as the FBAR, there are other issues to contend with, and often times the non-filing under FATCA, can lead to a disastrous penalty involving both FBAR & FATCA.

Example of FBAR, FATCA & Structuring

David wants to move money offshore so that it can be used to purchase a home outside of United States. 

David has a $1,000,000 sitting in cash at his home. David is originally from a foreign country and has significant contacts overseas. In fact, there are two individuals who are US Green Card Holders in David’s home country who can use some extra cash, and agree to help David, for a small fee.

Therefore, over the next two years, David transfers $1,000,000 in small transactions to his contacts abroad, and then the contacts transfer the money back to David.

Here’s the Problem

Even though David successfully avoids being reported as a result of currency transactions, now there is a concern that David’s accomplices may get him busted. This is because the Foreign Financial Institutions in which David’s friends maintain bank accounts are aware that they are U.S. persons.

That is because at some point, these two individuals updated the bank to let them know of their US address to make sure they received the interest that was being generated by their bank accounts.

Moreover, the bank is a relatively large institution and is FATCA compliant. In other words, the bank reports the information regarding the balances in these accounts to the IRS.

Fast-Forward 2 Years

It is now two-years later and one of David’s contacts is audited by the IRS. He received an IDR (Information Document Request) from the IRS involving various income issues, including issues involving his foreign accounts. Namely, the IRS wants to know where the money in this person’s account came from, how it got there, and whether taxes were paid on it (which is a typical request, not out of the ordinary).

David’s accomplices want to cooperate with the IRS, in order avoid being hit with Tax Fraud and/or willful penalties which could reach 100% value of the account (especially since the money did not belong to them).

They are also worried about a possible investigation by the criminal arm of the IRS (IRS Special Agents).

Alternative Resolution through Offshore Disclosure

Presuming that the money was legally sourced, David and his friends had other options available to them prior to being contacted by the IRS.

David could have just placed the money into foreign accounts and began reporting instead of structuring cash transactions slowly into multiple accounts which were not in his name.

The money was legally sourced —  just a lot of cash and David did not trust the banks. Also, he was not intending on reporting all the cash as income…but the money was still legally sourced.

Even if David (or his friends) had a change of heart later after the non-reporting occurred, they could have entered IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure and safely brought themselves into compliance.

For anybody who knowingly or intentionally/willfully failed to report foreign accounts, assets, income, or accounts and the money was legally sourced, they should consider entering into the OVDP ‘program’ to avoid future fines, headaches, and possible criminal penalties. 

If a person was non-willful, they may qualify for the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures.

IRS Offshore Penalty List

A Penalty for failing to file FBARs

United States citizens, residents and certain other persons must annually report their direct or indirect financial interest in, or signature authority (or other authority that is comparable to signature authority) over, a financial account that is maintained with a financial institution located in a foreign country if, for any calendar year, the aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the year. The civil penalty for willfully failing to file an FBAR can be as high as the greater of $100,000 or 50 percent of the total balance of the foreign financial account per violation. See 31 U.S.C. § 5321(a)(5). Non-willful violations that the IRS determines were not due to reasonable cause are subject to a $10,000 penalty per violation.

FATCA Form 8938

Beginning with the 2011 tax year, a penalty for failing to file Form 8938 reporting the taxpayer’s interest in certain foreign financial assets, including financial accounts, certain foreign securities, and interests in foreign entities, as required by IRC § 6038D. The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns is $10,000, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency, up to a maximum of $50,000 per return.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 3520

Annual Return to Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts. Taxpayers must also report various transactions involving foreign trusts, including creation of a foreign trust by a United States person, transfers of property from a United States person to a foreign trust and receipt of distributions from foreign trusts under IRC § 6048. This return also reports the receipt of gifts from foreign entities under IRC § 6039F. The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns, or for filing an incomplete return, is the greater of $10,000 or 35 percent of the gross reportable amount, except for returns reporting gifts, where the penalty is five percent of the gift per month, up to a maximum penalty of 25 percent of the gift.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 3520-A

Information Return of Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner. Taxpayers must also report ownership interests in foreign trusts, by United States persons with various interests in and powers over those trusts under IRC § 6048(b). The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns or for filing an incomplete return, is the greater of $10,000 or 5 percent of the gross value of trust assets determined to be owned by the United States person.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 5471

Information Return of U.S. Persons with Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations. Certain United States persons who are officers, directors or shareholders in certain foreign corporations (including International Business Corporations) are required to report information under IRC §§ 6035, 6038 and 6046. The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns is $10,000, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency, up to a maximum of $50,000 per return.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 5472

Information Return of a 25% Foreign-Owned U.S. Corporation or a Foreign Corporation Engaged in a U.S. Trade or Business. Taxpayers may be required to report transactions between a 25 percent foreign-owned domestic corporation or a foreign corporation engaged in a trade or business in the United States and a related party as required by IRC §§ 6038A and 6038C. The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns, or to keep certain records regarding reportable transactions, is $10,000, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 926

Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation. Taxpayers are required to report transfers of property to foreign corporations and other information under IRC § 6038B. The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns is ten percent of the value of the property transferred, up to a maximum of $100,000 per return, with no limit if the failure to report the transfer was intentional.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 8865

Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Partnerships. United States persons with certain interests in foreign partnerships use this form to report interests in and transactions of the foreign partnerships, transfers of property to the foreign partnerships, and acquisitions, dispositions and changes in foreign partnership interests under IRC §§ 6038, 6038B, and 6046A. Penalties include $10,000 for failure to file each return, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency, up to a maximum of $50,000 per return, and ten percent of the value of any transferred property that is not reported, subject to a $100,000 limit.

Fraud penalties imposed under IRC §§ 6651(f) or 6663

Where an underpayment of tax, or a failure to file a tax return, is due to fraud, the taxpayer is liable for penalties that, although calculated differently, essentially amount to 75 percent of the unpaid tax.

A Penalty for failing to file a tax return imposed under IRC § 6651(a)(1)

Generally, taxpayers are required to file income tax returns. If a taxpayer fails to do so, a penalty of 5 percent of the balance due, plus an additional 5 percent for each month or fraction thereof during which the failure continues may be imposed. The penalty shall not exceed 25 percent.

A Penalty for failing to pay the amount of tax shown on the return under IRC § 6651(a)(2)

If a taxpayer fails to pay the amount of tax shown on the return, he or she may be liable for a penalty of .5 percent of the amount of tax shown on the return, plus an additional .5 percent for each additional month or fraction thereof that the amount remains unpaid, not exceeding 25 percent.

An Accuracy-Related Penalty on underpayments imposed under IRC § 6662

Depending upon which component of the accuracy-related penalty is applicable, a taxpayer may be liable for a 20 percent or 40 percent penalty

Possible Criminal Charges related to tax matters include tax evasion (IRC § 7201)

Filing a false return (IRC § 7206(1)) and failure to file an income tax return (IRC § 7203). Willfully failing to file an FBAR and willfully filing a false FBAR are both violations that are subject to criminal penalties under 31 U.S.C. § 5322.  Additional possible criminal charges include conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims (18 U.S.C. § 286) and conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. § 371).

A person convicted of tax evasion 

Filing a false return subjects a person to a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000. A person who fails to file a tax return is subject to a prison term of up to one year and a fine of up to $100,000. Failing to file an FBAR subjects a person to a prison term of up to ten years and criminal penalties of up to $500,000.  A person convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims is subject to a prison term of up to not more than 10 years or a fine of up to $250,000.  A person convicted of conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States is subject to a prison term of not more than five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

Undisclosed Foreign Income, Assets or Investments?

If you have unreported money abroad, typically the best way to avoid a similar fate is to proactively get into compliance using one of the approved IRS offshore voluntary disclosure programs.

What Can You Do?

Presuming the money was from legal sources, your best options are either the Traditional IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program, or one of the Streamlined Offshore Disclosure Programs.

We Specialize in Safely Disclosing Foreign Money

We have successfully handled a diverse range of IRS Voluntary Disclosure and International Tax Investigation/Examination cases involving FBAR, FATCA, and high-stakes matters for clients around the globe (In over 65 countries!)

Whether it is a simple or complex case, safely getting clients into compliance is our passion, and we take it very seriously.

Examples of areas of tax we handle

Who Decides to Disclose Unreported Money?

What Types of Clients Do we Represent?

We represent Attorneys, CPAs, Doctors, Investors, Engineers, Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, Professors, Athletes, Actors, Entry-Level staff, Students, Former/Current IRS Agents and more.

You are not alone, and you are not the only one to find himself or herself in this situation.

Sean M. Golding, JD, LL.M., EA – Board Certified Tax Law Specialist

Our Managing Partner, Sean M. Golding, JD, LLM, EA  holds an LL.M. (Master’s in Tax Law) from the University of Denver and is also an Enrolled Agent (the highest credential awarded by the IRS, and authorizes him to represent clients nationwide.)

He is frequently called upon to lecture and write on issues involving IRS Voluntary Disclosure.

*Click Here to Learn about how Attorneys falsely market their services as “specialists.”

Less than 1% of Tax Attorneys Nationwide

Out of more than 200,000 practicing attorneys in California, less than 400 attorneys have achieved this Certified Tax Law Specialist designation.

The exam is widely regarded as one of (if not) the hardest tax exam given in the United States for practicing Attorneys. It is a designation earned by less than 1% of attorneys.

IRS Penalty List

The following is a list of potential IRS penalties for unreported and undisclosed foreign accounts and assets:

Failure to File

If you do not file by the deadline, you might face a failure-to-file penalty. If you do not pay by the due date, you could face a failure-to-pay penalty. The failure-to-file penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty.

The penalty for filing late is usually 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a return is late. This penalty will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes. If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax.

Failure to Pay

f you do not pay your taxes by the due date, you will generally have to pay a failure-to-pay penalty of ½ of 1 percent of your unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month after the due date that the taxes are not paid. This penalty can be as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes. If both the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty apply in any month, the 5 percent failure-to-file penalty is reduced by the failure-to-pay penalty.

However, if you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. You will not have to pay a failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalty if you can show that you failed to file or pay on time because of reasonable cause and not because of willful neglect.

Civil Tax Fraud

If any part of any underpayment of tax required to be shown on a return is due to fraud, there shall be added to the tax an amount equal to 75 percent of the portion of the underpayment which is attributable to fraud.

A Penalty for failing to file FBARs

The civil penalty for willfully failing to file an FBAR can be as high as the greater of $100,000 or 50 percent of the total balance of the foreign financial account per violation. See 31 U.S.C. § 5321(a)(5). Non-willful violations that the IRS determines were not due to reasonable cause are subject to a $10,000 penalty per violation.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 8938

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns is $10,000, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency, up to a maximum of $50,000 per return.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 3520

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns, or for filing an incomplete return, is the greater of $10,000 or 35 percent of the gross reportable amount, except for returns reporting gifts, where the penalty is five percent of the gift per month, up to a maximum penalty of 25 percent of the gift.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 3520-A

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns or for filing an incomplete return, is the greater of $10,000 or 5 percent of the gross value of trust assets determined to be owned by the United States person.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 5471

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns is $10,000, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency, up to a maximum of $50,000 per return.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 5472

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns, or to keep certain records regarding reportable transactions, is $10,000, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 926

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns is ten percent of the value of the property transferred, up to a maximum of $100,000 per return, with no limit if the failure to report the transfer was intentional.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 8865

Penalties include $10,000 for failure to file each return, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency, up to a maximum of $50,000 per return, and ten percent of the value of any transferred property that is not reported, subject to a $100,000 limit.

Fraud penalties imposed under IRC §§ 6651(f) or 6663

Where an underpayment of tax, or a failure to file a tax return, is due to fraud, the taxpayer is liable for penalties that, although calculated differently, essentially amount to 75 percent of the unpaid tax.

A Penalty for failing to file a tax return imposed under IRC § 6651(a)(1)

Generally, taxpayers are required to file income tax returns. If a taxpayer fails to do so, a penalty of 5 percent of the balance due, plus an additional 5 percent for each month or fraction thereof during which the failure continues may be imposed. The penalty shall not exceed 25 percent.

A Penalty for failing to pay the amount of tax shown on the return under IRC § 6651(a)(2)

If a taxpayer fails to pay the amount of tax shown on the return, he or she may be liable for a penalty of .5 percent of the amount of tax shown on the return, plus an additional .5 percent for each additional month or fraction thereof that the amount remains unpaid, not exceeding 25 percent.

An Accuracy-Related Penalty on underpayments imposed under IRC § 6662

Depending upon which component of the accuracy-related penalty is applicable, a taxpayer may be liable for a 20 percent or 40 percent penalty

Possible Criminal Charges related to tax matters include tax evasion (IRC § 7201)

Filing a false return (IRC § 7206(1)) and failure to file an income tax return (IRC § 7203). Willfully failing to file an FBAR and willfully filing a false FBAR are both violations that are subject to criminal penalties under 31 U.S.C. § 5322.  Additional possible criminal charges include conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims (18 U.S.C. § 286) and conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. § 371).

A person convicted of tax evasion

Filing a false return subjects a person to a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000. A person who fails to file a tax return is subject to a prison term of up to one year and a fine of up to $100,000. Failing to file an FBAR subjects a person to a prison term of up to ten years and criminal penalties of up to $500,000.  A person convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims is subject to a prison term of up to not more than 10 years or a fine of up to $250,000.  A person convicted of conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States is subject to a prison term of not more than five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

What Should You Do?

Everyone makes mistakes. If at some point that you should have been reporting your foreign income, accounts, assets or investments the prudent and least costly (but most effective) method for getting compliance is through one of the approved IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program.

Be Careful of the IRS

With the introduction and enforcement of FATCA for both Civil and Criminal Penalties, renewed interest in the IRS issuing FBAR Penalties, crackdown on Cryptocurrency (and IRS joining J5), the termination of OVDP, and recent foreign bank settlements with the IRS…there are not many places left to hide.

4 Types of IRS Voluntary Disclosure Programs

There are typically four types of IRS Voluntary Disclosure programs, and they include:

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