2018 FBAR Deadline in 2019 | FinCEN Form 114 International Tax Lawyer & Attorney

The 2018 FBAR deadline is one of the most important deadlines for US taxpayers in the calendar year 2019. Since FBAR is not filed with the federal income tax return, many taxpayers may miss this deadline. This is why Sherayzen Law Office is publishing this notice to US taxpayers.

2018 FBAR Deadline: Background Information

FBAR is an acronym for FinCEN Form 114, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. US Persons must file FBAR if they have a financial interest in or signatory or any other authority over foreign financial accounts if the highest aggregate value of these accounts is in excess of $10,000. FBARs are filed separately from federal tax returns.

2018 FBAR Deadline: Pre-2016 FBAR Deadline

For the years preceding 2016, the US government chose a very strange deadline for FBARs – June 30 of each year. For example, 2012 FBAR was due on June 30, 2013. No filing extensions were allowed.

There was another surprising rule for FBAR deadlines. Prior to the mandatory e-filing of FBARs, taxpayers had to mail their FBARs to the specialized center in Detroit, Michigan. Unlike the rest of the tax forms, FBARs did not follow the “mailbox rule”. In other words, the filing of an FBAR was recognized by the IRS not upon the mailing of this form, but upon its receipt. For example, if FBAR was mailed on June 30, but received on July 1, it was not timely filed.

Federal tax returns, on the other hand, do follow the mailbox rule. This means that the IRS will consider the mailing date, not the date of receipt, as the date of the filing of a tax return. I should point out that, in practice, the IRS often confuses the rule and incorrectly issues failure-to-file penalties based on the date of receipt. This is why it is important to have a proof of mailing for your federal tax return.

The last FBAR that followed the June 30 deadline was 2015 FBAR; its due date was June 30, 2016. Nevertheless, due to the six-year FBAR statute of limitations, it is important to remember this history for the purpose of offshore voluntary disclosures and IRS FBAR audits. It will continue to be relevant as late as June 30, 2022.

2018 FBAR Deadline: Changes to FBAR Deadline Starting 2016 FBAR

Of course, the strange FBAR filing rules greatly confused US taxpayers. First of all, it was difficult to learn about the existence of the form. Second, taxpayers found it very difficult to timely comply with its requirements due to its very strange filing rules.

The US Congress took action in 2015 to alleviate this problem. As it usually happens, it did so when it passed a law that, on its surface, had nothing to do with FBARs. 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 (which continues to this date), the IRS granted to US taxpayers an automatic extension of the FBAR filing deadline to October 15. Taxpayers do not need to make any specific requests in order for an extension to be granted.

Thus, starting with the 2016 FBAR, the Act adjusted the FBAR due date to coincide with the federal income tax filing deadlines. This is the case even if federal law requires a different filing date. For example, 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; the FBAR deadline will follow suit and also shift to the next business day.

2018 FBAR Deadline

Based on the current law, the 2018 FBAR deadline will be April 15, 2019. In other words, your 2018 FBAR has to be e-filed by and including that date. Automatic extension to October 15, 2019, is available.

2015 FBAR (FinCEN Form 114) Due on June 30, 2016

2015 FBAR is one of the most important tax information returns required by the IRS this year. While the 2015 FBAR is not the most complicated form, it is definitely the one that is associated with the most severe penalties.

2015 FBAR History

The FBAR is an abbreviation for the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (the “FBAR”). The current official name of the FBAR is FinCEN Form 114 (prior to mandatory e-filing, Form TD F 90-22.1 was the name of the FBAR).

Many of my clients are surprised to learn that FBAR is a tax information return with a long history, dating back to the late 1970s. Its origin lies in the Bank Secrecy Act (31 U.S.C. §5311 et seq.) and it was originally meant to combat money laundering. However, after September 11, 2001, the FBAR enforcement was turned over to the IRS and it became a tax-enforcement tool of heretofore unimaginable power due to its heavy penalties.

Who is Required to File 2015 FBAR

The Department of Treasury (the “Treasury”) requires that an FBAR is filed whenever a US person has a financial interest in or signatory authority over foreign financial accounts and the aggregate value of the foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. If you had such a situation in 2015, then you must seek an advice from an FBAR lawyer on whether you need to file the 2015 FBAR.

2015 FBAR Deadline

2015 FBAR must be e-filed with the IRS by June 30, 2016; there are no extensions available – the 2015 FBAR must be received by the IRS no later than June 30, 2016.

Consequences of Failure to File Your 2015 FBAR Timely

If your 2015 FBAR is not timely filed, then it will be considered delinquent and might be subject to severe FBAR civil and criminal penalties, depending on your circumstances. It is also important to point out that an incorrect or incomplete 2015 FBAR will also be considered delinquent with the higher possibility of imposition of the FBAR’s draconian penalties.

Multiple Years of FBAR Delinquency

If you did not file the FBARs in the prior years and you were required to do so, this situation is extremely dangerous (especially in our FATCA-dominated world) and may result in imposition of multiple FBAR penalties. This is why you should seek advice of an experienced FBAR lawyer as soon as possible

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Assistance with Your FBAR Compliance

If you have not filed your FBARs previously and you were required to do so, contact Sherayzen Law Office for help as soon as possible. Our team of experienced tax professionals, headed by attorney Eugene Sherayzen, has helped hundreds of US taxpayers around the world to lower and even eliminate their FBAR penalties. We can help You!

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FBAR Attorney

If you are looking for an attorney to help you with your FBAR issues, contact Sherayzen Law Office.

Sherayzen Law Office is an international tax and business law firm that specializes in FBAR compliance among other international tax issues. Our office is located in Minneapolis, but we have clients throughout the United States and overseas.

Helping U.S. taxpayers who have FBAR issues is one of our most important specializations. FinCEN Form 114 formerly Form TD F 90-22.1, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (commonly known as the “FBAR”), is not the most complex form in the Internal Revenue Code, but it is definitely one of the most severe forms when it comes to penalties. A lot of U.S. taxpayers either do not know about this form, do not realize how important it is, or they already realized that they should have filed the FBAR earlier and do not know how to get out of the vicious cycle of non-compliance.

Our international tax firm is highly experienced in these delinquent FBAR matters, including the voluntary disclosure process. We will analyze your case thoroughly, determine your FBAR liability and identify your voluntary disclosure options. Once you make your choice with respect to your voluntary disclosure option, we will create and implement a customized case strategy, including preparation of all of the necessary tax forms and legal briefs.

Clients of Sherayzen Law Office enjoy the personal attention of Mr. Eugene Sherayzen, the firm’s owner, who will be working with you throughout the process in order to make sure that your case proceeds efficiently. He is easily accessible by phone and email throughout the case.

We believe that each case is unique, especially in such complex matters as FBAR voluntary disclosure. Our international tax law firm will be looking for the unique features in your particular fact pattern to determine the most expeditious and favorable manner to proceed with your case.

One the biggest problems facing U.S. taxpayers in finding the right FBAR representation at this point is the tendency among some accounting firms and even law firms to disregard the special circumstances of a case and automatically channel their clients into the 2012 OVDP (Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program) at the highest penalty rates with the idea that they will figure out later what the strategy of the case will be and whether the taxpayer needs to opt-out of the program.

We believe that this is an incorrect approach which completely disregards the individual circumstances of each taxpayer and may subject them to an unnecessarily high penalties and additional legal and accounting fees. Each case should be thoroughly analyzed at the beginning of the process before the taxpayers enters the 2012 OVDP, not in the middle or even at the end of the voluntary disclosure.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Help with FBARs

If you have any undisclosed foreign financial accounts, contact Sherayzen Law Office as soon as possible for an individual, comprehensive, creative and ethical approach to your voluntary disclosure process.

IRS Increases Criminal Prosecutions for Willful Failure to File FBARs: U.S. v. Jacques Wajsfelner

In U.S. v. Jacques Wajsfelner, the IRS’s criminal prosecution of the defendant for willful failure to file FBARs was completed when the defendant, Mr. Jacques Wajsfelner, decided to plead guilty. Mr. Wajsfelner pled guilty to willful failure to file the FBAR in Manhattan federal court and he now faces civil penalties of $2.84 million and restitution of $419,940. Under advisory guidelines, he faces 30 months to 37 months in prison at sentencing scheduled for December 20, 2012.

Basic Facts

Mr. Wajsfelner, an 83-year old Holocaust survivor, fled the Nazis as a teenager and became a U.S. citizen, working in real estate and advertisement in New York and Boston. He admitted that he held an account in his own name at Credit Suisse in 1995. In 2006, his advisor helped him open an account in the name of Ample Lion Ltd. At the end of 2007, the account held almost $5.7 million. In 2008, as Credit Suisse started to wind down its U.S. cross-border banking business, Mr. Wajsfelner opened an account with Wegelin and transferred the money from Credit Suisse to the new account. In the later years, the value on this account went down to only $4 million.

In addition to moving money among two accounts, Mr. Wajsfelner also made a huge error of not telling the truth to the IRS about the account, Ample Lion Ltd. (A Hong Kong corporation), and his advisor (Beda Singenberger’s corporation Sinco Treuhand AG) during an interview conducted by the IRS after the investigation commenced. As part of his plea agreement, the IRS agreed not to prosecute him for these statements.

In the end, Mr. Wajsfelner plead guilty to knowing and willful failure to file the FBARs from 2006 through 2011 with the IRS.

Additional Considerations

It is possible that the misleading and untruthful statements to the IRS alone may have been the cause for Mr. Wajsfelner to plead guilty. However, there was another highly unfavorable fact – moving the money between the accounts would have been considered as circumstantial evidence of conspiracy to conceal the money from U.S. government. Also, Mr. Wajsfelner maintained very close contact with the account and directed various transactions to and from the accounts.

Another important consideration is to understand that this is a case of pure willful failure to file the FBARs; there was no associated pleading with respect to tax evasion. This is a very important because it shows that the IRS is willing to prosecute FBAR cases criminally even without tax evasion charges.

US v. Jacques Wajsfelner is Part of a Wave of Prosecutions

U.S. v. Jacques Wajsfelner is not an isolated case or limited only to specific facts of Mr. Wajsfelner.

In addition to Mr. Wajsfelner, the IRS also indicted his former Swiss adviser, Beda Singenberger, on a charge of conspiring to help more than 60 U.S. taxpayers hide $184 million from the Internal Revenue Service in offshore accounts. Wegelin, the 270-year-old Swiss bank, was also indicted February 2, 2012, on charges of helping U.S. taxpayers hide money from the IRS. Also, Credit Suisse said in July of 2011 that it was a target of a U.S. criminal probe. On July 21, 2011, seven of Credit Suisse’s bankers were indicted on charges of helping U.S. clients evade taxes through secret accounts.

In fact, since 2009, U.S. prosecutors have criminally charged about fifty U.S. taxpayers and more than twenty offshore bankers, lawyers and advisers.

FBAR Criminal Prosecutions Will Increase Due to Voluntary Disclosure Programs

It is critically important for non-compliant U.S. taxpayers to understand that, instead of subsiding, this wave of IRS criminal prosecutions regarding the FBARs will only increase.

The primary reason for this growth of FBAR prosecutions are the voluntary disclosure programs, like 2009 OVDP, 2011 OVDI AND 2012 OVDP. For many years now, the IRS has been collecting detailed information from the participating taxpayers regarding their advisors, banks and other U.S. taxpayers. This mountain of information allows the IRS to identify high-risk banks, advisors as well as specific taxpayers who are likely to be non-compliant with U.S. tax rules. The end-product of this analysis are targeted investigation and, ultimately, criminal prosecutions of non-compliant U.S. taxpayers and their advisors.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Legal Help With FBARs

If you have undisclosed foreign financial accounts that should have been reported to the IRS, contact Sherayzen Law Office as soon as possible. Our experienced tax firm will analyze the facts of your case, identify you potential FBAR liability and propose a specific course of action to deal with your specific situation. Sherayzen Law Office will guide you though your entire voluntary disclosure, including the preparation of all of the necessary tax documents and rigorous IRS representation.