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2017 FBAR Currency Conversion Rates | FBAR Lawyer and Attorney

Using proper currency conversion rates is a very important part of preparing 2017 FBAR and 2017 Form 8938. The instructions to both forms require (in case of FATCA Form 8938, this is the default choice) US taxpayers to use the 2017 FBAR Currency Conversion Rates published by the Treasury Department. The 2017 FBAR Currency Conversion Rates may also be used for other purposes, not just the preparation of the 2017 FBAR and Form 8938.

The 2017 FBAR Currency Conversion Rates are the December 31, 2017 rates officially published by the U.S. Department of Treasury (they are called “Treasury’s Financial Management Service rates” or the “FMS rates”) and they are the proper conversion rates that must be used while preparing FBAR and Form 8938.

Due to this importance of the 2017 FBAR Currency Conversion Rates to US taxpayers, international tax lawyers and international tax accountants, Sherayzen Law Office provides the table below the official 2017 FBAR Currency Conversion Rates (keep in mind, you still need to refer to the official website for any updates).

 

Country – Currency

Foreign Currency to $1.00

AFGHANISTAN – AFGHANI

69.3200

ALBANIA – LEK

110.6000

ALGERIA – DINAR

114.6590

ANGOLA – KWANZA

170.0000

ANTIGUA – BARBUDA – E. CARIBBEAN DOLLAR

2.7000

ARGENTINA – PESO

19.1600

ARMENIA – DRAM

485.0000

AUSTRALIA – DOLLAR

1.2790

AUSTRIA – EURO

0.8330

AZERBAIJAN – NEW MANAT

1.7100

BAHAMAS – DOLLAR

1.0000

BAHRAIN – DINAR

0.3770

BANGLADESH – TAKA

82.0000

BARBADOS – DOLLAR

2.0200

BELARUS – NEW RUBLE

1.9730

BELGIUM – EURO

0.8330

BELIZE – DOLLAR

2.0000

BENIN – CFA FRANC

562.3300

BERMUDA – DOLLAR

1.0000

BOLIVIA – BOLIVIANO

6.8600

BOSNIA – HERCEGOVINA – MARKA

1.6300

BOTSWANA – PULA

9.8040

BRAZIL – REAL

3.3120

BRUNEI – DOLLAR

1.3420

BULGARIA – LEV

1.6310

BURKINA FASO – CFA FRANC

562.3300

BURMA – KYAT

1354.0000

BURUNDI – FRANC

1720.0000

CAMBODIA (KHMER) – RIEL

4103.0000

CAMEROON – CFA FRANC

567.7900

CANADA – DOLLAR

1.2550

CAPE VERDE – ESCUDO

92.0260

CAYMAN ISLANDS – DOLLAR

0.8200

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – CFA FRANC

567.7900

CHAD – CFA FRANC

567.7900

CHILE – PESO

614.2300

CHINA – RENMINBI

6.5040

COLOMBIA – PESO

2981.7900

COMOROS – FRANC

411.0000

CONGO – CFA FRANC

567.7900

CONGO, DEM. REP – CONGOLESE FRANC

1580.0000

COSTA RICA – COLON

564.0000

COTE D’IVOIRE – CFA FRANC

562.3300

CROATIA – KUNA

6.2300

CUBA – PESO

1.0000

CYPRUS – EURO

0.8330

CZECH REPUBLIC – KORUNA

20.8840

DENMARK – KRONE

6.2070

DJIBOUTI – FRANC

177.0000

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – PESO

48.1100

ECAUDOR – DOLARES

1.0000

EGYPT – POUND

17.7300

EL SALVADOR – DOLARES

1.0000

EQUATORIAL GUINEA – CFA FRANC

567.7900

ERITREA – NAKFA

15.0000

ESTONIA – EURO

0.8330

ETHIOPIA – BIRR

27.2000

EURO ZONE – EURO

0.8330

FIJI – DOLLAR

2.0170

FINLAND – EURO

0.8330

FRANCE – EURO

0.8330

GABON – CFA FRANC

567.7900

GAMBIA – DALASI

47.0000

GEORGIA – LARI

2.6100

GERMANY FRG – EURO

0.8330

GHANA – CEDI

4.5200

GREECE – EURO

0.8330

GRENADA – EAST CARIBBEAN DOLLAR

2.7000

GUATEMALA – QUENTZAL

7.3300

GUINEA – FRANC

9004.0000

GUINEA BISSAU – CFA FRANC

562.3300

GUYANA – DOLLAR

215.0000

HAITI – GOURDE

62.9500

HONDURAS – LEMPIRA

23.5000

HONG KONG – DOLLAR

7.8150

HUNGARY – FORINT

258.4500

ICELAND – KRONA

104.0900

INDIA – RUPEE

63.7500

INDONESIA – RUPIAH

13490.0000

IRAN – RIAL

36057.0000

IRAQ – DINAR

1166.0000

IRELAND – EURO

0.8330

ISRAEL – SHEKEL

3.4710

ITALY – EURO

0.8330

JAMAICA – DOLLAR

128.0000

JAPAN – YEN

112.5500

JERUSALEM – SHEKEL

3.4710

JORDAN – DINAR

0.7080

KAZAKHSTAN – TENGE

331.3100

KENYA – SHILLING

103.2000

KOREA – WON

1065.9301

KUWAIT – DINAR

0.3010

KYRGYZSTAN – SOM

69.0000

LAOS – KIP

8274.0000

LATVIA – EURO

0.8330

LEBANON – POUND

1500.0000

LESOTHO – SOUTH AFRICAN RAND

12.3160

LIBERIA – U.S. DOLLAR

125.1700

LIBYA – DINAR

1.3570

LITHUANIA – LITAS

0.8330

LUXEMBOURG – EURO

0.8330

MACAO – MOP

8.0000

MACEDONIA FYROM – DENAR

51.0700

MADAGASCAR – ARIA

3235.6201

MALAWI – KWACHA

731.0000

MALAYSIA – RINGGIT

4.0440

MALI – CFA FRANC

562.3300

MALTA – EURO

0.8330

MARSHALL ISLANDS – DOLLAR

1.0000

MARTINIQUE – EURO

0.8330

MAURITANIA – OUGUIYA

355.0000

MAURITIUS – RUPEE

33.4000

MEXICO – NEW PESO

19.7040

MICRONESIA – DOLLAR

1.0000

MOLDOVA – LEU

17.0580

MONGOLIA – TUGRIK

2427.3999

MONTENEGRO – EURO

0.8330

MOROCCO – DIRHAM

9.3520

MOZAMBIQUE – METICAL

58.8500

NAMIBIA – DOLLAR

12.3160

NEPAL – RUPEE

102.4000

NETHERLANDS – EURO

0.8330

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES – GUILDER

1.7800

NEW ZEALAND – DOLLAR

1.4050

NICARAGUA – CORDOBA

30.6000

NIGER – CFA FRANC

562.3300

NIGERIA – NAIRA

359.0000

NORWAY – KRONE

8.1960

OMAN – RIAL

0.3850

PAKISTAN – RUPEE

110.4000

PALAU – DOLLAR

1.0000

PANAMA – BALBOA

1.0000

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – KINA

3.1350

PARAGUAY – GUARANI

5574.0000

PERU – NUEVO SOL

3.2360

PHILIPPINES – PESO

49.8490

POLAND – ZLOTY

3.4830

PORTUGAL – EURO

0.8330

QATAR – RIYAL

3.6400

ROMANIA – LEU

3.8800

RUSSIA – RUBLE

57.8450

RWANDA – FRANC

855.0000

SAO TOME & PRINCIPE – DOBRAS

20597.2227

SAUDI ARABIA – RIYAL

3.7500

SENEGAL – CFA FRANC

562.3300

SERBIA – DINAR

101.3300

SEYCHELLES – RUPEE

13.3800

SIERRA LEONE – LEONE

7645.0000

SINGAPORE – DOLLAR

1.3360

SLOVAK REPUBLIC – EURO

0.8330

SLOVENIA – EURO

0.8330

SOLOMON ISLANDS – DOLLAR

7.4910

SOMALI – SHILLING

575.0000

SOUTH AFRICA – RAND

12.3160

SOUTH SUDANESE – POUND

126.0000

SPAIN – EURO

0.8330

SRI LANKA – RUPEE

153.4000

ST LUCIA – EC DOLLAR

2.7000

SUDAN – SUDANESE POUND

9.0000

SURINAME – GUILDER

7.5200

SWAZILAND – LILANGENI

12.3160

SWEDEN – KRONA

8.1930

SWITZERLAND – FRANC

0.9750

SYRIA – POUND

515.0000

TAIWAN – DOLLAR

29.6460

TAJIKISTAN – SOMONI

8.7500

TANZANIA – SHILLING

2235.0000

THAILAND – BAHT

32.6000

TIMOR – LESTE – DILI

1.0000

TOGO – CFA FRANC

562.3300

TONGA – PA’ANGA

2.1140

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – DOLLAR

6.6300

TUNISIA – DINAR

2.4580

TURKEY – LIRA

3.7880

TURKMENISTAN – MANAT

3.4910

UGANDA – SHILLING

3635.0000

UKRAINE – HRYVNIA

28.1450

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DIRHAM

3.6730

UNITED KINGDOM – POUND STERLING

0.7400

URUGUAY – PESO

28.7600

UZBEKISTAN – SOM

8030.0000

VANUATU – VATU

105.0000

VENEZUELA – BOLIVAR

3345.0000

VIETNAM – DONG

22708.0000

WESTERN SAMOA – TALA

2.4400

YEMEN – RIAL

250.5000

ZAMBIA – NEW KWACHA

9.9750

ZAMBIA – KWACHA

5455.0000

ZIMBABWE – DOLLAR

1.0000

2017 FBAR Deadline | FinCEN Form 114 FBAR Lawyer & Attorney

FinCEN recently confirmed the 2017 FBAR deadline and the automatic extension option.

2017 FBAR Deadline: FBAR Background

FinCEN Form 114, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, is commonly known as FBAR.  US taxpayers should use this form to report their financial interest in or signatory authority over foreign financial accounts. Failure to timely file the FBAR may result in the imposition of draconian FBAR penalties.

2017 FBAR Deadline: Traditional FBAR Deadline

Prior to 2016 FBAR, the taxpayers had to file their FBARs for each relevant calendar year by June 30 of the following year. No filings extensions were allowed. The last FBAR that followed this deadline was 2015 FBAR (its due date was June 30, 2016).

2017 FBAR Deadline: Changes to FBAR Deadline Starting 2016 FBAR

The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (the “Act”) changed the FBAR deadline starting with 2016 FBAR.  Section 2006(b)(11) of the Act requires the FBARs to be filed by the due date of that year’s tax return (i.e. usually April 15), not June 30.

Furthermore, during the transition period, the IRS granted to US taxpayers an automatic extension of the FBAR filing deadline to October 15. The taxpayers do not need to make any specific requests in order for extension to be granted.

In other words, starting 2016 FBAR, the Act adjusted the FBAR due date to coincide with the federal income tax filing deadlines. Moreover, the new FBAR filing deadline will follow to the letter the federal income tax due date guidance. The federal income tax due date guidance states that, in situations where the tax return due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the IRS must delay the due date until the next business day.

2017 FBAR Deadline

Based on the new law, the 2017 FBAR deadline will be April 17, 2018 (same as 2017 income tax return due date). If a taxpayer does not file his 2017 FBAR by April 17, 2018, then the IRS will automatically grant an extension until October 15, 2018. Failure to file 2017 FBAR by October 15, 2018, may result in the imposition of FBAR civil and criminal penalties.

2018 FBAR Criminal Penalties | FBAR Lawyer & Attorney

2018 FBAR criminal penalties should be on the mind of any US taxpayer who willfully failed to file his FBARs or knowingly filed a false FBAR. In this essay, I would like to do an overview of the 2018 FBAR criminal penalties that these noncompliant US taxpayers may have to face.

2018 FBAR Criminal Penalties: Background Information

A lot of US taxpayers do not understand why the 2018 FBAR criminal penalties are so shockingly high. These taxpayers question why failing to file a form that has nothing do with income tax calculation should potentially result in a jail sentence.

The answer to this questions lies in the legislative history of FBAR. First of all, it is important to understand that FBAR is not a tax form. The Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”) was born in 1970 out of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), in particular 31 U.S.C. §5314. This means that the initial primary purpose of the form was to fight financial crimes, money laundering and terrorism. In other words, FBAR was not created as a tool against tax evasion.

Hence, the FBAR penalties were structured from the very beginning for the purpose of punishing criminals engaged in financial crimes and/or terrorism. This is why the FBAR penalties are so severe and easily surpass the penalties of any tax form.

It was only 30 years later, after the enaction of The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA Patriot Act”), that the enforcement of FBAR was turned over to the IRS. The IRS almost immediately commenced using FBAR to fight the tax evasion schemes that utilized offshore accounts.

The Congress liked the IRS initiative and responded with the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (“2004 Jobs Act”). The 2004 Jobs Act further increased the FBAR penalties, including the creation of the non-willful penalty of up to $10,000 per violation.

2018 FBAR Criminal Penalties: Description

Now that we understand why the 2018 FBAR criminal penalties are so severe, let’s describe what they penalties actually look like. There are three different 2018 FBAR criminal penalties associated with different FBAR violations.

The first criminal penalty may be imposed under 26 U.S.C. 5322(a) and 31 C.F.R. § 103.59(b) for willful failure to file FBAR or retain records of a foreign account. The penalty is up to $250,000 or 5 years in prison or both.

When the willful failure to file FBAR is combined with a violation of other US laws or the failure to file FBAR is “part of a pattern of any illegal activity involving more than $100,000 in a 12-month period”, then the IRS has the option of imposing a criminal penalty under 26 U.S.C. 5322(b) and 31 C.F.R. § 103.59(c). In this case, the penalty jumps to incredible $500,000 or 10 years in prison or both.

Finally, if a person willingly and knowingly files a false, fictitious or fraudulent FBAR, he is subject to the penalty under 31 C.F.R. § 103.59(d). The penalty in this case may be $10,000 or 5 years or both.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Help With Past FBAR Violations

If you were required to file an FBAR but you have not done it, you need to contact Sherayzen Law Office as soon as possible to explore your voluntary disclosure options. Our international tax law firm specializes in FBAR compliance and we have helped hundreds of US taxpayers around the world to bring their US tax affairs into full compliance with US tax laws while reducing and, in some cases, eliminating their FBAR penalties.

We can help You! Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

US Taxpayers’ Nightmare Continues: FBAR Penalty Inflation Adjustment

As if the FBAR penalties were not frightening enough, the Congress has mandated the IRS to adjust the FBAR penalties to account for inflation. As a result, the already complicated and severe system of FBAR penalties became even more complex and ruthless. In this article, I would like provide a general overview of the FBAR penalty inflation adjustment and what it means for noncompliant US taxpayers.

FBAR Penalty Inflation Adjustment: The “Old” FBAR Penalty System

The FBAR penalty system was already complex prior to the 2015 FBAR penalty inflation adjustment. It consisted of three different levels of penalties with various levels of mitigation. The highest level of penalties consisted of criminal penalties. The most dreadful penalty was imposed for the willful failure to file FBAR or retain records of a foreign account while also violating certain other laws – up to $500,000 or 10 years in prison or both.

The next level consisted of civil penalties imposed for the willful failure to file an FBAR – up to $100,000 or 50% of the highest balance of an account, whichever is greater, per violation. It is important to emphasize that the IRS has unilaterally interpreted the word “violation” to mean that a penalty should be imposed on each account per year, potentially going back six years (the FBAR statute of limitations is six years).

The third level of penalties were imposed for the non-willful failure to file an FBAR. The penalties were up to $10,000 per violation per year. It is also important to point out that the subsequent laws and IRS guidance imposed certain limitations on the application of the non-willful FBAR penalties.

Finally, there were also penalties imposed solely on businesses for negligent failure to file an FBAR. These penalties were up to $500 per violation; if, however, there was a pattern of negligence, the negligence penalties could increase ten times up to $50,000 per violation.

FBAR Penalty Inflation Adjustment: Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015

Apparently, the Congress did not believe that these FBAR penalties were sufficiently horrific. Hence, it enacted a law awkwardly named Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (“2015 Inflation Adjustment Act”) to “improve the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect.”

The 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act required federal agencies to do two things: (1) adjust the amounts of civil monetary penalties with an initial “catch-up” adjustment; and (2) make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation. It is important to note that only civil penalties, not criminal, were subject to the inflation adjustment.

While the annual adjustment requirement is fairly clear, the “catch-up” adjustment requires a bit more explanation. In essence, the catch-up adjustment requires a federal agency to adjust the penalty (as it was last originally established by an act of Congress) for inflation from the time of establishment through roughly the November of 2015. In other words, a penalty would be adjusted in one year for all of the inflation that accumulated between the time the statutory penalty was created and the time the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act was enacted. The adjustment was limited to 2.5 times of the original penalty.

The end result of the penalty adjustment was a massive increase in federal penalties in 2016. For example, one OSHA penalty went up from $70,000 to $124,709.

New System under the FBAR Penalty Inflation Adjustment

Luckily, the FBAR penalties were last revisited by Congress in 2004 and the increase in FBAR penalties, while very large (about 25%), was not as dramatic as some of the other federal penalties. Nevertheless, the FBAR penalty inflation adjustment further complicated the multi-layered system of FBAR penalties.

The key complication came from the fact that the FBAR penalty became dependent on the timing of the IRS penalty assessment, bifurcating the already existing FBAR penalty system (that was broadly described above) into two distinct parts: pre-November 2, 2015 and post-November 2, 2015.

If an FBAR violation occurred on or before November 2, 2015, the old FBAR penalty system applies. This is also true even if the actual IRS assessment of the FBAR penalties for the violation occurred after this date. In other words, the last FBAR violation definitely eligible for the old statutory penalties is the one concerning 2014 FBAR which was due on June 30, 2015. Obviously, FBARs for prior years are also eligible for the same treatment.

If an FBAR violation occurred after November 2, 2015 and the FBAR penalty would be assessed after August 1, 2016, the new system of penalties (i.e. the one after the FBAR penalty inflation adjustment) applies. In other words, all FBAR violations starting 2015 FBAR (which was due on June 30, 2016) are subject to the ever-increasing FBAR civil penalties.

With respect to these post-November 2, 2015 violations, the exact amount of penalties will depend on the timing of the IRS penalty assessment, not when the FBAR violation actually occurred. For example, if the IRS penalty assessment was made after August 1, 2016 but prior to January 15, 2017, then maximum non-willful FBAR penalty per violation will be $12,459 and the maximum willful FBAR penalty per violation will be the greater of $124,588 or 50% of the highest balance of the account.

If, however, the penalty was assessed after January 15, 2017 but prior to January 15, 2018, the maximum non-willful FBAR penalty will increase to $12,663 per violation and the maximum civil willful FBAR penalty will be the greater of $126,626 or 50% of the highest balance of the account.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Help with Avoiding or Reducing Your FBAR Penalties

Whether you have undisclosed foreign accounts on which the FBAR penalties have not yet been imposed or the IRS has already imposed FBAR penalties for your prior FBAR noncompliance, you should contact Sherayzen Law Office as soon as possible to secure professional help. We have helped hundreds of US taxpayers to reduce and, under certain circumstances, completely eliminate FBAR penalties through properly made voluntary disclosures. We have also helped US taxpayers to fight the already imposed FBAR penalties through appeals to the IRS Office of Appeals as well as in a federal court.

We can help You! Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

Remember to File Your 2015 FBARs | FBAR Tax Attorney

On June 17, 2016, the IRS again reminded U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts to file their 2015 FBARs by Thursday, June 30, 2016. U.S. taxpayers have to file 2015 FBARs if they had financial interest in or signatory authority (or other authority) over foreign accounts with values which, in the aggregate (i.e. all accounts added together), exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year 2015. The taxpayers who satisfied the FBAR threshhold, should e-file their 2015 FBARs through the BSA E-Filing System website.

It is important to note that the number of FBAR filings has grown exponentially. According to FinCEN data, on average, there has been a seventeen percent increase per year during the last five years. In fact, in 2015, FinCEN received a record high 1,163,229 of 2014 FBARs. We can reasonably expect that the number of 2015 FBARs will beat last year’s record.

The growth in the number of FBARs is mainly caused by two factors. First, the greater awareness of the FBAR requirement is due to a series of IRS legal victories against foreign banks and offshore jurisdictions, starting with 2008 UBS case through a complete destruction of the Swiss bank secrecy in the Swiss Bank Program and even more recent criminal conviction of two Caymanian banks.

Second and probably the most important reason is the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which requires foreign financial institutions to report foreign accounts owned by U.S. persons. Additionally, FATCA created a new filing requirement, IRS Form 8938. Unlike the FBAR, Form 8938 has to be filed with U.S. individual tax returns (the implementation of Form 8938 for business returns still has not occurred). This new requirement created a much greater awareness of the FBAR among the accountants who generally do not file FBARs for their clients due to the fact that FBARs carry criminal penalties.

Both of these factors will continue to play a great role in 2016 when the 2015 FBARs have to filed. Additionally, by June 30, a much greater of foreign banks will have delivered FATCA letters, further promoting FBAR awareness among U.S. persons who have to file 2015 FBARs.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for FBAR Help

If you have undisclosed foreign accounts for which delinquent FBARs have to be filed or you need help with determining what needs to be filed for 2015 FBAR, contact the experienced international tax law firm of Sherayzen Law Office. Our talented team of tax professionals, headed by a highly-experienced FBAR tax attorney, Mr. Eugene Sherayzen, has helped hundreds of U.S. taxpayers around the world and we can help you!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!