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2020 FBAR Conversion Rates | FBAR Tax Lawyer & Attorney

The 2020 FBAR conversion rates are highly important in US international tax compliance. The 2020 FBAR and 2020 Form 8938 instructions both require that 2020 FBAR conversion rates be used to report the required highest balances of foreign financial assets on these forms (in the case of Form 8938, the 2020 FBAR conversion rates is the default choice, not an exclusive one). In other words, the 2020 FBAR conversion rates are used to translate foreign-currency highest balances into US dollars for the purposes of FBAR and Form 8938 compliance.

The U.S. Department of Treasury  already published the 2020 FBAR conversion rates online (they are called “Treasury’s Financial Management Service rates” or the “FMS rates”).

Since the 2020 FBAR conversion rates are highly important to US taxpayers, international tax lawyers and international tax accountants, Sherayzen Law Office provides the table below listing the official 2020 FBAR conversion rates (note that the readers still need to refer to the official website for any updates).

Country – Currency Foreign Currency to $1.00
AFGHANISTAN – AFGHANI77.0900
ALBANIA – LEK100.3500
ALGERIA – DINAR132.2120
ANGOLA – KWANZA649.6000
ANTIGUA – BARBUDA – E. CARIBBEAN DOLLAR2.7000
ARGENTINA – PESO89.2500
ARMENIA – DRAM515.0000
AUSTRALIA – DOLLAR1.2940
AUSTRIA – EURO0.8150
AZERBAIJAN – NEW MANAT1.7000
BAHAMAS – DOLLAR1.0000
BAHRAIN – DINAR0.3770
BANGLADESH – TAKA85.0000
BARBADOS – DOLLAR2.0200
BELARUS – NEW RUBLE2.5980
BELGIUM – EURO0.8150
BELIZE – DOLLAR2.0000
BENIN – CFA FRANC529.0000
BERMUDA – DOLLAR1.0000
BOLIVIA – BOLIVIANO6.8100
BOSNIA – MARKA1.5940
BOTSWANA – PULA10.7990
BRAZIL – REAL5.1940
BRUNEI – DOLLAR1.3220
BULGARIA – LEV1.5940
BURKINA FASO – CFA FRANC529.0000
BURMA-KYAT1,326.0000
BURUNDI – FRANC1,930.6100
CAMBODIA (KHMER) – RIEL4,051.0000
CAMEROON – CFA FRANC529.2600
CANADA – DOLLAR1.2750
CAPE VERDE – ESCUDO89.8300
CAYMAN ISLANDS – DOLLAR0.8200
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – CFA FRANC529.2600
CHAD – CFA FRANC529.2600
CHILE – PESO709.7500
CHINA – RENMINBI6.5400
COLOMBIA – PESO3,414.5000
COMOROS – FRANC400.6200
CONGO – CFA FRANC529.2600
COSTA RICA – COLON609.1000
COTE D’IVOIRE – CFA FRANC529.0000
CROATIA – KUNA5.9500
CUBA – Chavito1.0000
CYPRUS – EURO0.8150
CZECH REPUBLIC – KORUNA20.7540
DEM. REP. OF CONGO – FRANC1,966.4800
DENMARK – KRONE6.0650
DJIBOUTI – FRANC177.0000
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – PESO58.1400
ECUADOR – DOLARES1.0000
EGYPT – POUND15.6900
EL SALVADOR – DOLARES1.0000
EQUATORIAL GUINEA – CFA FRANC529.2600
ERITREA – NAKFA15.0000
ESTONIA – EURO0.8150
ETHIOPIA – BIRR39.1810
EURO ZONE – EURO0.8150
FIJI – DOLLAR2.0040
FINLAND – EURO0.8150
FRANCE – EURO0.8150
GABON – CFA FRANC529.2600
GAMBIA – DALASI52.0000
GEORGIA – LARI3.2700
GERMANY – EURO0.8150
GHANA – CEDI5.8100
GREECE – EURO0.8150
GRENADA – EAST CARIBBEAN DOLLAR2.7000
GUATEMALA – QUENTZAL7.7800
GUINEA BISSAU – CFA FRANC529.0000
GUINEA – FRANC9,990.0000
GUYANA – DOLLAR215.0000
HAITI – GOURDE71.6060
HONDURAS – LEMPIRA25.0000
HONG KONG – DOLLAR7.7530
HUNGARY – FORINT296.7600
ICELAND – KRONA127.1100
INDIA – RUPEE73.0340
INDONESIA – RUPIAH14,028.0000
IRAN – RIAL42,000.0000
IRAQ – DINAR1,138.0000
IRELAND – EURO0.8150
ISRAEL – SHEKEL3.2130
ITALY – EURO0.8150
JAMAICA – DOLLAR150.0000
JAPAN – YEN103.0800
JORDAN – DINAR0.7080
KAZAKHSTAN – TENGE421.2700
KENYA – SHILLING109.1000
KOREA – WON1,087.6600
KOSOVO – EURO0.8150
KUWAIT – DINAR0.3040
KYRGYZSTAN – SOM82.6500
LAOS – KIP9,280.0000
LATVIA – EURO0.8150
LEBANON – POUND1,500.0000
LESOTHO – MALOTI14.6730
LIBERIA – DOLLAR163.0000
LIBYA – DINAR1.3330
LITHUANIA – EURO0.8150
LUXEMBOURG – EURO0.8150
MADAGASCAR – ARIARY3,824.8000
MALAWI – KWACHA820.0000
MALAYSIA – RINGGIT4.0200
MALDIVES – RUFIYAA15.4200
MALI – CFA FRANC529.0000
MALTA – EURO0.8150
MARSHALL ISLANDS – DOLLAR1.0000
MARTINIQUE – EURO0.8150
MAURITANIA – OUGUIYA37.0000
MAURITIUS – RUPEE39.5500
MEXICO – PESO19.9130
MICRONESIA – DOLLAR1.0000
MOLDOVA – LEU17.0800
MONGOLIA – TUGRIK2,849.7700
MONTENEGRO – EURO0.8150
MOROCCO – DIRHAM8.9170
MOZAMBIQUE – METICAL 74.2000
NAMIBIA – DOLLAR14.6730
NEPAL – RUPEE117.0000
NETHERLANDS – EURO0.8150
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES – GUILDER1.7800
NEW ZEALAND – DOLLAR1.3830
NICARAGUA – CORDOBA34.9000
NIGER – CFA FRANC529.0000
NIGERIA – NAIRA385.0000
NORWAY – KRONE8.5300
OMAN – RIAL0.3850
PAKISTAN – RUPEE159.7500
PANAMA – BALBOA1.0000
PANAMA – DOLARES1.0000
PAPUA NEW GUINEA – KINA3.5090
PARAGUAY – GUARANI6,891.9600
PERU – SOL3.6190
PHILIPPINES – PESO48.1730
POLAND – ZLOTY3.7130
PORTUGAL – EURO0.8150
QATAR – RIYAL3.6400
REP. OF N MACEDONIA – DINAR50.1300
REPUBLIC OF PALAU – DOLLAR1.0000
ROMANIA – NEW LEU 3.9660
RUSSIA – RUBLE74.4600
RWANDA – FRANC950.0000
SAO TOME & PRINCIPE – NEW DOBRAS20.0510
SAUDI ARABIA – RIYAL3.7500
SENEGAL – CFA FRANC529.0000
SERBIA – DINAR95.8000
SEYCHELLES – RUPEE20.9100
SIERRA LEONE – LEONE9,997.0000
SINGAPORE – DOLLAR1.3220
SLOVAK REPUBLIC – EURO0.8150
SLOVENIA – EURO0.8150
SOLOMON ISLANDS – DOLLAR7.7340
SOMALI – SHILLING575.0000
SOUTH AFRICA – RAND14.6730
SOUTH SUDANESE – POUND177.0000
SPAIN – EURO0.8150
SRI LANKA – RUPEE185.0000
ST LUCIA – E CARIBBEAN DOLLAR2.7000
SUDAN – SUDANESE POUND55.0000
SURINAME – GUILDER14.2900
SWAZILAND – LANGENI14.6730
SWEDEN – KRONA8.1720
SWITZERLAND – FRANC0.8810
SYRIA – POUND1,256.0000
TAIWAN – DOLLAR28.0740
TAJIKISTAN – SOMONI11.3250
TANZANIA – SHILLING2,314.0000
THAILAND – BAHT29.9200
TIMOR – LESTE DILI1.0000
TOGO – CFA FRANC529.0000
TONGA – PA’ANGA2.1980
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – DOLLAR6.6980
TUNISIA – DINAR2.6830
TURKEY – LIRA7.4240
TURKMENISTAN – NEW MANAT3.4910
UGANDA – SHILLING3,649.0000
UKRAINE – HRYVNIA28.3000
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DIRHAM3.6730
UNITED KINGDOM – POUND STERLING0.7320
URUGUAY – PESO42.1400
UZBEKISTAN – SOM10,471.9200
VANUATU – VATU106.2300
VENEZUELA – BOLIVAR SOBERANO1,104,430.5870
VENEZUELA – FUERTE (OLD)248,832.0000
VIETNAM – DONG23,070.0000
WESTERN SAMOA – TALA2.4440
YEMEN – RIAL480.0000
ZAMBIA – NEW KWACHA21.1400
ZIMBABWE – RTGS79.7420

July 15 Deferral: More Deadlines Affected | US International Tax News

On April 9, 2020, the IRS announced additional relief to taxpayers by moving the due date for more deadlines to July 15, 2020. Let’s discuss this additional July 15 Deferral in more detail.

July 15 Deferral: Background Information

On March 13, 2020, in response to the 2019 coronavirus (also called “COVID-19″) pandemic, President Trump issued an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. This declaration instructed the Treasury Department to provide relief from tax deadlines to Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency pursuant to 26 U.S.C. §7508A(a).

Section 7508A of the Internal Revenue Code provides the Secretary of the Treasury with authority to postpone the time for performing certain acts under the internal revenue laws for a taxpayer determined by the Secretary to be affected by a federally-declared disaster as defined in section 165(i)(5)(A). Pursuant to section 7508A(a), a period of up to one year may be disregarded in determining whether the performance of certain acts is timely under the internal revenue laws.

On March 18, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-17 to postpone April 15 tax payment deadlines from April 15 to July 15, 2020. A few days later, on March 21, 2020 (the actual relief occurred even earlier on March 20, 2020), among other measures, the IRS announced a new notice 2020-18 for the extension of all April 15 deadlines to July 15, 2020. This extension applied only to the April 15 deadlines.

Later, on March 27, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-20, which amplified the earlier notice 2020-18 and postponed certain federal gift tax return filings and payments to July 15, 2020.

July 15 Deferral: More Deadlines Affected

On April 9, 2020, the IRS took another decisive step forward and issued Notice 2020-23. This notice extends to July 15 all tax deadlines that fall on or after April 1, 2020 and July 14, 2020. This deferral applies to all tax filing and tax payment deadlines.

The July 15 deferral of deadlines applies to all taxpayers – individuals, trusts, estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers.

July 15 Deferral: Taxpayers Residing Abroad

Americans who reside abroad usually get an automatic extension to file their tax returns until June 15, but they are required to pay taxes due by April 15. Notice 2020-23 defers the tax payment and the tax filing deadlines from April 15 and June 15 respectively to July 15, 2020.

July 15 Deferral: Individual Tax Returns

Notice 2020-23 applies to the following types of individual tax returns and tax payments:

  1. Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors;
  2. 1040-NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return;
  3. 1040-NR-EZ, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents;
  4. 1040-PR, Self-Employment Tax Return – Puerto Rico; and
  5. 1040-SS, U.S. Self-Employment Tax Return (Including the Additional Child Tax Credit for Bona Fide Residents of Puerto Rico);

July 15 Deferral: Corporate Tax Returns

Notice 2020-23 applies to the following types of corporate tax returns and tax payments (irrespective of whether they are calendar-year or fiscal-year taxpayers):

  1. Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return;
  2. 1120-C, U.S. Income Tax Return for Cooperative Associations;
  3. 1120-F, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation;
  4. 1120-FSC, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Sales Corporation;
  5. 1120-H, U.S. Income Tax Return for Homeowners Associations;
  6. 1120-L, U.S. Life Insurance Company Income Tax Return;
  7. 1120-ND, Return for Nuclear Decommissioning Funds and Certain Related Persons;
  8. 1120-PC, U.S. Property and Casualty Insurance Company Income Tax Return;
  9. 1120-POL, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations;
  10. 1120-REIT, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Investment Trusts;
  11. 1120-RIC, U.S. Income Tax Return for Regulated Investment Companies;
  12. 1120-S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation; and
  13. 1120-SF, U.S. Income Tax Return for Settlement Funds (Under Section 468B).

July 15 Deferral: Partnership Tax Returns

Notice 2020-23 applies to the following types of partnership calendar-year and fiscal-year tax returns:

  1. Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income; and
  2. Form 1066, U.S. Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC) Income Tax Return.

July 15 Deferral: Estate, Gift and Trust Tax Returns

Notice 2020-23 applies to the following types of estate, gift and trust tax returns (including all tax payments required to be made under these returns):

  1. Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts;
  2. 1041-N, U.S. Income Tax Return for Electing Alaska Native Settlement Trusts;
  3. 1041-QFT, U.S. Income Tax Return for Qualified Funeral Trusts;
  4. Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return (for estate of a citizen or resident of the United States), including for filings pursuant to Revenue Procedure 2017-34;
  5. 706-NA, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return (for estate of a nonresident not a citizen of the United States);
  6. 706-A, United States Additional Estate Tax Return;
  7. 706-QDT, U.S. Estate Tax Return for Qualified Domestic Trusts;
  8. 706-GS(T), Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Terminations;
  9. 706-GS(D), Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Distributions;
  10. 706-GS(D-1), Notification of Distribution from a Generation-Skipping Trust (including the due date for providing such form to a beneficiary);
  11. Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property from a Decedent and any supplemental Form 8971, including all requirements contained in section 6035(a) of the Code; and
  12. Estate tax payments of principal or interest due as a result of an election made under sections 6166, 6161, or 6163 and annual recertification requirements under section 6166 of the Code.

July 15 Deferral: Tax-Exempt Tax Returns

Notice 2020-23 applies to Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return (and proxy tax under section 6033(e) of the Code).

July 15 Deferral: Excise Taxes

Notice 2020-23 applies to excise tax payments on investment income and return filings on Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Trust Treated as Private Foundation as well as excise tax payments and return filings on Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code.

July 15 Deferral: Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments

Notice 2020-23 applies to various types of quarterly estimated income tax payments calculated on or submitted with the following forms:

  1. 990-W, Estimated Tax on Unrelated Business Taxable Income for Tax-Exempt Organizations,
  2. 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals;
  3. 1040-ES (NR), U.S. Estimated Tax for Nonresident Alien Individuals;
  4. 1040-ES (PR), Estimated Federal Tax on Self Employment Income and on Household Employees (Residents of Puerto Rico);
  5. 1041-ES, Estimated Income Tax for Estates; and Trusts; and
  6. 1120-W, Estimated Tax for Corporations.

July 15 Deferral: Certain Other Affected Taxpayers and Elections; Tax Court Deadlines

Notice 2020-23 also applies to any person performing a time-sensitive action listed in either § 301.7508A-1(c)(1)(iv) – (vi) of the Procedure and Administration Regulations or Revenue Procedure 2018-58, 2018-50 IRB 990 (December 10, 2018), which is due to be performed on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020 (“Specified Time-Sensitive Action”). For purposes of this notice, the term Specified Time-Sensitive Action also includes an investment at the election of a taxpayer due to be made during the 180-day period described in the IRS §1400Z-2(a)(1)(A).

Affected Taxpayers also have until July 15, 2020, to perform all Specified Time-Sensitive Actions, that are due to be performed on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. This relief includes the time for filing all petitions with the Tax Court, or for review of a decision rendered by the Tax Court, filing a claim for credit or refund of any tax, and bringing suit upon a claim for credit or refund of any tax. This notice does not provide relief for the time period for filing a petition with the Tax Court, or for filing a claim or bringing a suit for credit or refund if that period expired before April 1, 2020.

July 15 Deferral: Schedules, Elections and Other Forms

Notice 2020-23 applies not only to the aforementioned forms (hereinafter “Specified Forms), but also to schedules, returns, and other forms that are filed as attachments to the Specified Forms or are required to be filed by the due date of the Specified Forms. For example, this affects Schedule H and Schedule SE.

Moreover, elections that are made or required to be made on a timely filed Specified Form (or attachment to a Specified Form) shall be timely made if filed on such Specified Form or attachment, as appropriate, on or before July 15, 2020

July 15 Deferral: International Information Returns and 965 Tax Payments

Notice 2020-23 applies to all US international information returns including forms 3520, 5471, 5472, 8621 (including PFIC elections), 8858, 8865, and 8938. Furthermore, the Notice applies to installment payments under section 965(h) due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020.

This is highly important to Sherayzen Law Office clients’ because almost all of our clients must file these forms and many are required to make 965 installment tax payments.

July 15 Deferral: 2016 Unclaimed Refunds

For 2016 tax returns, the normal April 15 deadline to claim a refund has also been extended to July 15, 2020. The law provides a three-year window of opportunity to claim a refund. If taxpayers do not file a return within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. Notice 2020-23 requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by the July 15, 2020, date.

July 15 Deferral: IRS Audits, IRS Appeals and Amended Tax Returns

Notice 2020-23 provides a 30-day postponement for “Affected Taxpayers” with respect to “Time-Sensitive IRS Actions” if the last date for performance of the action is on or after April 6, 2020, and before July 15, 2020.

Notice 2020-23 defines “Affected Taxpayers” as:

  1. Persons who are currently under examination (including an investigation to determine liability for an assessable penalty under subchapter B of Chapter 68);
  2. Persons whose cases are with the Independent Office of Appeals; and
  3. Persons who, during the period beginning on or after April 6, 2020 and ending before July 15, 2020, file written documents described in section 6501(c)(7) of the Code (amended returns) or submit payments with respect to a tax for which the time for assessment would otherwise expire during this period.

Notice 2020-23 defines “Time Sensitive IRS Action” as actions described in § 301.7508A-1(c)(2).

July 15 Deferral: Extension of time to file beyond July 15

It is still possible to request an extension of time beyond July 15, 2020 (to October 15, 2020). In order to do it, individual taxpayers must file Form 4868 and business taxpayers must file Form 7004. Both forms should be filed by July 15, 2020.

Taxpayers should keep in mind that an extension to file is not an extension to pay taxes. Taxpayers must estimated their tax liability and pay any taxes owed by July 15, 2020, even if they request an extension to file forms.

2019 FBAR Conversion Rates | FBAR Tax Lawyer & Attorney

The 2019 FBAR conversion rates are highly important in US international tax compliance. The 2019 FBAR and 2019 Form 8938 instructions both require that 2019 FBAR conversion rates be used to report the required highest balances of foreign financial assets on these forms (in the case of Form 8938, the 2019 FBAR conversion rates is the default choice, not an exclusive one). In other words, the 2019 FBAR conversion rates are used to translate foreign-currency highest balances into US dollars for the purposes of FBAR and Form 8938 compliance.

The U.S. Department of Treasury  already published the 2019 FBAR conversion rates online (they are called “Treasury’s Financial Management Service rates” or the “FMS rates”).

Since the 2019 FBAR conversion rates are highly important to US taxpayers, international tax lawyers and international tax accountants, Sherayzen Law Office provides the table below listing the official 2019 FBAR conversion rates (note that the readers still need to refer to the official website for any updates).

Country – Currency Foreign Currency to $1.00
AFGHANISTAN – AFGHANI77.6250
ALBANIA – LEK108.2100
ALGERIA – DINAR118.7800
ANGOLA – KWANZA475.0000
ANTIGUA – BARBUDA – E. CARIBBEAN DOLLAR2.7000
ARGENTINA – PESO59.8700
ARMENIA – DRAM475.0000
AUSTRALIA – DOLLAR1.4250
AUSTRIA – EURO0.8900
AZERBAIJAN – NEW MANAT1.7000
BAHAMAS – DOLLAR1.0000
BAHRAIN – DINAR0.3770
BANGLADESH – TAKA85.0000
BARBADOS – DOLLAR2.0200
BELARUS – NEW RUBLE2.1040
BELGIUM – EURO0.8900
BELIZE – DOLLAR2.0000
BENIN – CFA FRANC582.0000
BERMUDA – DOLLAR1.0000
BOLIVIA – BOLIVIANO6.8300
BOSNIA – MARKA1.7410
BOTSWANA – PULA10.5490
BRAZIL – REAL4.0200
BRUNEI – DOLLAR1.3450
BULGARIA – LEV1.7410
BURKINA FASO – CFA FRANC582.0000
BURMA-KYAT1,475.0000
BURUNDI – FRANC1,850.0000
CAMBODIA (KHMER) – RIEL4,051.0000
CAMEROON – CFA FRANC578.1200
CANADA – DOLLAR1.3000
CAPE VERDE – ESCUDO99.2910
CAYMAN ISLANDS – DOLLAR0.8200
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – CFA FRANC578.1200
CHAD – CFA FRANC578.1200
CHILE – PESO751.4800
CHINA – RENMINBI6.9610
COLOMBIA – PESO3,278.7500
COMOROS – FRANC439.0600
CONGO – CFA FRANC578.1200
COSTA RICA – COLON569.6500
COTE D’IVOIRE – CFA FRANC582.0000
CROATIA – KUNA6.4900
CUBA – Chavito1.0000
CYPRUS – EURO0.8900
CZECH REPUBLIC – KORUNA22.1650
DEM. REP. OF CONGO – FRANC1,650.0000
DENMARK – KRONE6.6520
DJIBOUTI – FRANC177.0000
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – PESO52.6600
ECUADOR – DOLARES1.0000
EGYPT – POUND16.0000
EL SALVADOR – DOLARES1.0000
EQUATORIAL GUINEA – CFA FRANC578.1200
ERITREA – NAKFA15.0000
ESTONIA – EURO0.8900
ETHIOPIA – BIRR31.8000
EURO ZONE – EURO0.8900
FIJI – DOLLAR2.1420
FINLAND – EURO0.8900
FRANCE – EURO0.8900
GABON – CFA FRANC578.1200
GAMBIA – DALASI51.0000
GEORGIA – LARI2.8700
GERMANY – EURO0.8900
GHANA – CEDI5.6600
GREECE – EURO0.8900
GRENADA – EAST CARIBBEAN DOLLAR2.7000
GUATEMALA – QUENTZAL7.6900
GUINEA BISSAU – CFA FRANC582.0000
GUINEA – FRANC9,380.0000
GUYANA – DOLLAR215.0000
HAITI – GOURDE87.6550
HONDURAS – LEMPIRA25.0000
HONG KONG – DOLLAR7.7860
HUNGARY – FORINT294.2900
ICELAND – KRONA120.7600
INDIA – RUPEE71.0000
INDONESIA – RUPIAH13,895.0000
IRAN – RIAL42,000.0000
IRAQ – DINAR1,138.0000
IRELAND – EURO0.8900
ISRAEL – SHEKEL3.4540
ITALY – EURO0.8900
JAMAICA – DOLLAR136.0000
JAPAN – YEN108.5300
JERUSALEM – SHEKEL3.4540
JORDAN – DINAR0.7080
KAZAKHSTAN – TENGE381.1800
KENYA – SHILLING101.2500
KOREA – WON1,153.7000
KOSOVO – EURO0.8900
KUWAIT – DINAR0.3030
KYRGYZSTAN – SOM69.6000
LAOS – KIP8,865.0000
LATVIA – EURO0.8900
LEBANON – POUND1500.0000
LESOTHO – MALOTI14.0560
LIBERIA – DOLLAR186.9900
LIBYA – DINAR1.3960
LITHUANIA – EURO0.8900
LUXEMBOURG – EURO0.8900
MADAGASCAR – ARIARY3,627.2000
MALAWI – KWACHA760.0000
MALAYSIA – RINGGIT4.0890
MALDIVES – RUFIYAA15.4200
MALI – CFA FRANC582.0000
MALTA – EURO0.8900
MARSHALL ISLANDS – DOLLAR1.0000
MARTINIQUE – EURO0.8900
MAURITANIA – OUGUIYA37.0000
MAURITIUS – RUPEE36.2000
MEXICO – PESO18.8920
MICRONESIA – DOLLAR1.0000
MOLDOVA – LEU17.1000
MONGOLIA – TUGRIK2,733.5200
MONTENEGRO – EURO0.8900
MOROCCO – DIRHAM9.5970
MOZAMBIQUE – METICAL 60.8500
NAMIBIA – DOLLAR14.0560
NEPAL – RUPEE113.7500
NETHERLANDS – EURO0.8900
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES – GUILDER1.7800
NEW ZEALAND – DOLLAR1.4830
NICARAGUA – CORDOBA33.8000
NIGER – CFA FRANC582.0000
NIGERIA – NAIRA361.0000
NORWAY – KRONE8.7820
OMAN – RIAL0.3850
PAKISTAN – RUPEE154.8500
PANAMA – BALBOA1.0000
PANAMA – DOLARES1.0000
PAPUA NEW GUINEA – KINA3.3110
PARAGUAY – GUARANI6,442.3301
PERU – SOL3.3140
PHILIPPINES – PESO50.6400
POLAND – ZLOTY3.7890
PORTUGAL – EURO0.8900
QATAR – RIYAL3.6400
REP. OF N MACEDONIA – DINAR54.7600
REPUBLIC OF PALAU – DOLLAR1.0000
ROMANIA – NEW LEU4.2560
RUSSIA – RUBLE62.2730
RWANDA – FRANC925.0000
SAO TOME & PRINCIPE – NEW DOBRAS22.1220
SAUDI ARABIA – RIYAL3.7500
SENEGAL – CFA FRANC582.0000
SERBIA – DINAR104.9200
SEYCHELLES – RUPEE13.6200
SIERRA LEONE – LEONE9,639.5898
SINGAPORE – DOLLAR1.3450
SLOVAK REPUBLIC – EURO0.8900
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The Norman Case: Willful FBAR Penalty Upheld | FBAR Lawyers Miami

On November 8, 2019, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Court”) upheld the decision of the Court of Federal Claims to uphold the IRS assessment of a willful FBAR penalty in the amount of $803,530 with respect to Ms. Mindy Norman’s failure to file her 2007 FBAR. The Norman case deserves special attention because of its facts and circumstances and how the Court interpreted them to uphold the willful FBAR penalty.

The Norman Case: Facts of the Case

Ms. Norman is a school teacher. In 1999, she opened a bank account with UBS bank in Switzerland. It was a “numbered account” – i.e. income and asset statements referred to the account number only; Ms. Norman’s name and address did not appear anywhere on the account statements. Between 2001 and 2008, the highest balance of the account ranged between about $1.5 million and $2.5 million.

The Court described how Ms. Norman was actively engaged in managing and controlling her account. She had frequent contacts with her UBS banker in person and over the phone; she decided how to invest her funds and she signed a request with UBS to prohibit investment in US securities on her behalf (which could have triggered a disclosure of the existence of the account to the IRS). In 2002, she withdrew between $10,000 and $100,000 in cash from the account. In 2008 she closed the account when UBS informed her that it would cooperate with the IRS in identifying noncompliant US taxpayers who engaged in tax fraud; it should also be noted that the IRS presented into evidence UBS client contact records which stated that Ms. Norman exhibited “surprise and displeasure” when she was informed about the UBS decision.

Sometime in the year 2008, Ms. Norman signed her 2007 US tax return which, it appears, contained a Schedule B which stated (in Part III) that she had no foreign accounts. Moreover, she signed this return after her accountant sent her a questionnaire with a question concerning foreign accounts.

Also in 2008, Ms. Norman obtained a referral to an accountant. It appears that the accountant advised her to do a quiet disclosure, filing her amended returns and late FBARs. The quiet disclosure triggered the subsequent IRS audit.

The Court found that, during the audit interview, Ms. Norman made numerous false statements, including denying the knowledge of the existence of her foreign account prior to 2009. She also submitted a letter to the IRS re-affirming her lack of knowledge about the existence of this account.

Then, after retaining an attorney, Ms. Norman completely reversed herself in her second letter, stating that she did in fact know about the existence of the account. She further explained that her failure to timely file her FBARs occurred due to her belief that none of the funds in the account were hers and she was not a de-facto owner of the account.

The Norman Case: Penalty Imposition and the Appeals

It appears that the false statements and radical shifts in claims about what she knew about her account completely damaged her credibility with the IRS agent in charge of the audit. Hence, the IRS found that Ms. Norman willfully failed to file her FBAR and assessed a penalty of $803,530.

Ms. Norman paid the penalty in full and filed a complaint with the Court of Federal Claims requesting a refund. The Court of Federal Claims sustained the penalty; hence, Ms. Norman appealed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court upheld the penalty imposition.

The Norman Case: Issues on the Appeal

Ms. Norman raised three issues on the appeal: (1) the Court of Federal Claims erred in finding that she willfully violated the FBAR requirement; (2) a 1987 Treasury regulation limits the FBAR willful penalty to $100,000; and (3) a penalty so high violates the 8th Amendment. The Court did not consider the 8th Amendment argument for procedural reasons.

The Norman Case: Recklessness as part of Willfulness

At the heart of the dispute over the imposition of the willful penalty was whether the IRS can use recklessness in its determination of willfulness. It is important to point out here that the IRS imposed the willful penalty even though it could not prove that Ms. Norman actually knew about the existence of FBAR. Rather, it relied on recklessness in its imposition of the willful FBAR penalty.

In the appeal, Ms. Norman argued that one can only violate the FBAR requirement if one has the actual knowledge of the existence of the form. She adopted a strict interpretation of willfulness as the one found in the Internal Revenue Manual (“IRM”): “willfulness is shown by the person’s knowledge of the reporting requirements and the person’s conscious choice not to comply with the requirements.”

The Court, however, did not agree with this interpretation. First of all, it pointed to the well-established law that the IRM is not binding in courts. The courts in several circuits have determined that recklessness should be considered as willfulness. Second, the IRM itself stated that actual knowledge of FBAR is not required for the imposition of a willful penalty. Rather, the IRM allowed for the possibility of the imposition of a willful penalty where the failure to learn about FBAR is combined with other factors, such as attempts to conceal the existence of the account and the amounts involved.

Then, the Court explained its reasoning for believing that Ms. Norman’s behavior was reckless: she opened the foreign account, actively managed it, withdrew money from it and failed to declare it on her signed 2007 tax return. The fact that Ms. Norman made contradictory and false statements to the IRS during the audit further damaged her credibility with respect to her non-willfulness claims.

The Norman Case: 1987 Treasury Regulation No Longer Valid

Ms. Norman also argued that a 1987 regulation limited the willful FBAR penalty to $100,000. The Court disagreed, because this regulation was rendered invalid by the language found in the 2004 amendment to 31 U.S.C. §5321(a)(5)(C).

The Norman Case: Most Important Lessons for Audited US Taxpayers with Undisclosed Foreign Accounts

The Norman case contains many important lessons for US taxpayers who have undisclosed foreign accounts and who are audited by the IRS. Let’s concentrate on the three most important ones.

First and foremost, do not lie to the IRS; lying to the IRS is almost certain to backfire. In the Norman case, the taxpayer had good facts on her side at the beginning, but her actions during the audit made them almost irrelevant. Ms. Norman’s false statements damaged her credibility not only with the IRS, but also with the courts. It made her appear as a person undeserving of sympathy; someone who deserved to be punished by the IRS.

Second, Ms. Norman fell prey to an incorrect advice from her accountant and did a quiet disclosure. Given how dangerous her situation was as a result of an impending disclosure of her foreign account by UBS, doing a quiet disclosure in 2008 was a mistake. Instead, a full open voluntary disclosure should have been done either through the traditional IRS voluntary disclosure option or a noisy disclosure (unfortunately, the 2009 OVDP was not yet an option in 2008).

Finally, the Norman case highlights the importance of having the appropriate professional counsel. During her quiet disclosure and the subsequent IRS audit Ms. Norman did not hire the right professional to assist her until it was too late – the damage to the case became irreversible. Instead of retaining the right international tax attorney, she chose to rely on an accountant. In the context of an offshore voluntary disclosure and especially an IRS audit involving offshore assets, relying on an accountant is almost always a mistake – only an experienced international tax attorney is right choice.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help With Your US Tax Compliance and an IRS Audit Concerning Foreign Accounts and Foreign Income

If you have undisclosed foreign accounts and you wish to resolve your US tax noncompliance before the IRS finds you, you need to secure competent legal help. If you are already subject to an IRS audit, then you need to retain an international tax attorney as soon as you receive the initial audit letter. As stated above, Ms. Norman paid a very high price for a failure to do so timely; you should avoid making this mistake.

For this reason, contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help as soon as possible. Our team of tax professionals headed by the highly experienced international tax attorney, Mr. Eugene Sherayzen, have helped hundreds of US taxpayers to resolve their prior US tax noncompliance issues and successfully conclude IRS international tax audits. We Can Help You!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

November 21 2019 BSU Seminar in Minsk, Belarus | International Tax News

On November 21, 2019, Mr. Eugene Sherayzen, an international tax attorney and founder of Sherayzen Law Office, Ltd., conducted a seminar at the Belarusian State University Law School (the “2019 BSU Seminar”) in Minsk, Belarus. Let’s explore the 2019 BSU Seminar in more detail.

2019 BSU Seminar

2019 BSU Seminar: Topic and Attendance

The topic of the seminar was “Unique Aspects of the US International Tax System”. The seminar was well-attended (more than 80 attendees) by the students of the Belarusian State University (“BSU”), BSU law school faculty and attorneys from the Minsk City Bar Association.

The seminar with the follow-up Q&A session lasted close to two and a half hours.

2019 BSU Seminar Part I: Mr. Sherayzen Biography As Illustration of a Successful Career of an International Tax Attorney

The first part of the seminar was devoted to the discussion of Mr. Sherayzen’s legal career. He commenced by describing his educational path: a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, History and Global Studies with Summa Cum Laude honors and a Juris Doctor degree in Law with Cum Laude honors from the University of Minnesota Law School. Then, Mr. Sherayzen discussed how he acquired the passion for US international tax law, founded Sherayzen Law Office at the end of the year 2005 and developed his career as a successful international tax attorney.

At that point, Mr. Sherayzen described his main specialities in US international tax law: (1) offshore voluntary disclosure of foreign assets and foreign income; (2) IRS international tax audits; (3) US tax compliance concerning foreign gifts and foreign inheritance; (4) US tax compliance concerning US information returns, including FBAR and FATCA compliance; and (5) US international tax planning.

2019 BSU Seminar Part II: Discussion of Eight Unique Characteristics of the US International Tax Law

The second pat of the seminar was devoted to the long discussion of eight main unique characteristics of US international tax law. Mr. Sherayzen commenced this part with the concept of “Voluntary Compliance” and its significance for a taxpayer’s personal liability for the accuracy of his IRS submissions. Then, the attorney discussed the enormous complexity and extremely invasive nature of US international tax law. Mr. Sherayzen also separately emphasized the potentially huge penalty exposure as the fourth characteristic of the US international tax law, specifically referring to FBAR penalties.

The attorney continued the discussion with the description of the worldwide reach of the US tax jurisdiction. Here, he used the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) as an example.

Then, Mr. Sherayzen described the obscurity that surrounds many US international tax provisions and explained how such obscurity presents problems and opportunities for US taxpayers. The attorney concluded the second part of the 2019 BSU seminar with the discussion of the flexibility of US international tax system and how the US tax system should be considered a source of endless opportunities to knowledgeable US international tax attorneys and their clients.

2019 BSU Seminar Part III: Basic Unique Principles of US International Tax System

The next part of the seminar focused on the basic principles of the US international tax system. Mr. Sherayzen organized this part from the perspective of how US taxpayers should declare their foreign assets and taxable income. The structure of this part was based on answering three questions: “who”, “what” and “when”.

The first question was: who should declare their foreign assets and pay taxes on their income? In this context, Mr. Sherayzen defined the concept of “US tax residency”. He further emphasized that non-resident aliens who are not US tax residents may still need to file non-resident US tax returns with the IRS.

The next question was: what income is subject to US taxation and what assets should be declared to the IRS? Here, Mr. Sherayzen describes the most fundamental principle of US international tax law that applies to US tax residents – the worldwide income taxation requirement. He also emphasized that US tax residents must declare on their US international information returns virtually all classes of their foreign assets with the exception of directly-owned real estate.

Then, as part of his discussion of US tax responsibilities of non-residents (for tax purposes), the attorney introduced the “source of income” rules used to characterize income as US-source income or foreign-source income. He provided the audience with the basic rules concerning sourcing of bank interest, dividends, earned income, rental income and royalties.

The final question was: when should the tax be paid on income? In this context, Mr. Sherayzen explained the concept of “realized income” and the general principle that income becomes taxable when it is realized for US tax purposes. He also described the anti-deferral regimes and the Section 250 full participation exemption as exceptions to the general principle of income recognition.

2019 BSU Seminar Part IV: International Information Returns and Conclusion

During the final part of the seminar, Mr. Sherayzen briefly discussed the most important US international information returns. He concluded his lecture by re-stating that US international tax provisions reflect the reality of US position in the world economy and other countries should understand this basic fact before they attempt to copy any US international tax provisions.