If you are interested in reading my recent tax article, entitiled "Are You FBAR Serious?" that will be published in the Business Law News in May 2012, please contact me at Marianne@TheTaxCounsel.com.
The following is an excerpt from the article:
Are You FBAR serious?
Marianne H. Man
Are you FBAR serious? Seriously, do you know what a FBAR is? If you are a tax attorney or a CPA, you may be well-acquainted with the term, FBAR, but for many individuals and owners of businesses, the requirements of the Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report ("FBAR") are foreign to them. Thus, a common reaction from people to the FBAR, when the reporting requirements of such are explained to them, is something akin to a dismayed and shocked "Are you FBAR serious?"
The FBAR is no joking matter, however. With the recent advent of the 2009, 2011, and 2012 IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, and the recently proposed Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) regulations that the U.S. Treasury and the IRS issued during February 2012 in conjunction with the governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the FBAR should be taken seriously by private citizens and business owners alike who have an interest in foreign financial assets.
This Article begins in Part II by addressing what the FBAR is, and which individuals and domestic entities are affected by the FBAR. Part III of this Article will describe a related new IRS filing requirement entitled, the Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets (“SSFFA”), or IRS Form 8938. Part IV will compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the FBAR and the SSFFA. Last, but not least, Part V of this Article will succinctly discuss the history of the FBAR and why compliance with the FBAR requirement is crucial.