Swiss Pension FBAR Reporting

Swiss Pension FBAR Reporting

Swiss Pension FBAR Reporting

Swiss Pension FBAR Reporting: The Swiss pension is a complicated type of investment. It is a system comprised of three (3) pillars, with the first two pillars as mandatory, and the third pillar (a) and (b) as elective. Beyond the IRS requirements and US taxation rules associated with the Swiss pension, is the reporting. A common question we receive is how the Swiss Pension is reported on the FBAR. With the IRS taking an aggressive position on matters involving foreign accounts compliance and unreported income, it is important to understand the basics of reporting.

Pillar 1 & FBAR Swiss Pension

The First Pillar is similar to U.S. social security.  There is no separate account number and no defined amount. Therefore, Pillar 1 is not generally reportable on the FBAR.

Pillar 2 & FBAR Swiss Pension

The Second Pillar is similar to a 401K investment. The 2nd Pillar is not a joint fund, but rather an individualized investment fund based on the specific investment/deferral amounts by the employee and employee. As a result, Pillar 2 accounts are generally reportable on the FBAR.

Pillar 3 & FBAR Swiss Pension

The Pillars 3 (a) and (b) are similar to an IRA and other investment types. It is not mandatory and there are individualized investment accounts that are determined by the specific investment/deferral amounts by the employer and the employee.

Thus, Pillar 3 accounts are generally reportable on the FBAR.

Unreported Swiss Pension FBAR Penalties

If a person has not timely reported their FBAR to FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), they may become subject to FBAR penalties, and other offshore fines.

Late Filing Penalties May be Reduced or Avoided

For Taxpayers who did not timely file their FBAR and other international information-related reporting forms, the IRS has developed many different offshore amnesty programs to assist taxpayers with safely getting into compliance. These programs may reduce or even eliminate international reporting penalties.

Current Year vs Prior Year Non-Compliance

Once a taxpayer missed the tax and reporting (such as FBAR and FATCA) requirements for prior years, they will want to be careful before submitting their information to the IRS in the current year. That is because they may risk making a quiet disclosure if they just begin filing forward in the current year and/or mass filing previous year forms without doing so under one of the approved IRS offshore submission procedures. Before filing prior untimely foreign reporting forms, taxpayers should consider speaking with a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist who specializes exclusively in these types of offshore disclosure matters.

Avoid False Offshore Disclosure Submissions (Willful vs Non-Willful)

In recent years, the IRS has increased the level of scrutiny for certain streamlined procedure submissions. When a person is non-willful, they have an excellent chance of making a successful submission to Streamlined Procedures. If they are willful, they would submit to the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program instead. But, if a willful Taxpayer submits an intentionally false narrative under the Streamlined Procedures (and gets caught), they may become subject to significant fines and penalties

Need Help Finding an Experienced Offshore Tax Attorney?

When it comes to hiring an experienced international tax attorney to represent you for unreported foreign and offshore account reporting, it can become overwhelming for taxpayers trying to trek through all the false information and nonsense they will find in their online research. There are only a handful of attorneys worldwide who are Board-Certified Tax Specialists and who specialize exclusively in offshore disclosure and international tax amnesty reporting. 

Golding & Golding: About Our International Tax Law Firm

Golding & Golding specializes exclusively in international tax, specifically IRS offshore disclosure

Contact our firm today for assistance.