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Scales of Justice weighing cash

Married Spouses’ Willful FBAR Penalties Are Double, Treasury Department Says

Most married couples manage their money together. They may hold accounts jointly, or each keep their names on their own assets. But according to a recent complaint filed by the United States Secretary of Treasury, even keeping accounts in one spouse… Read More
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Woman signing tax forms

IRS Says Widow Committed Willful FBAR Violations Just by Signing Tax Returns

In many relationships, one spouse may handle all the financial affairs of the household. But what happens when that spouse dies? Can a widow (or widower) be assessed a willful FBAR penalty just for signing tax returns prepared by her spouse and a CPA… Read More
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How Courts Calculate Will…

How Courts Calculate Willful FBAR Penalties

If things have gone wrong and you find yourself and your overseas bank accounts the subject of an IRS audit, you may feel like you are preparing for the worst. But what is the worst? How do the IRS and tax courts calculate willful FBAR penalties when… Read More
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Is a Retirement Account E…

Is a Retirement Account Early Withdrawal Tax Penalty Unconstitutional Discrimination?

What’s the difference between a tax-advantaged retirement account and a regular savings account? About 10% if you take a withdrawal too early. But could that early withdrawal tax penalty be unconstitutional age or disability discrimination? The U.S… Read More
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IRS Processing Delays Cre…

IRS Processing Delays Create Trouble for Foreign Trust Beneficiaries

In this digital age, having documents “cross in the mail” is almost obsolete. However, IRS processing delays in reviewing foreign trust beneficiaries’ reasonable cause applications for forgiveness of reporting penalties can mean taxpayers recei… Read More
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Categories: Tax / IRS Penalties
IRS Excuses Foreign Trust…

IRS Excuses Foreign Trust Reporting for Some Beneficiaries

Retirement brings significant changes to the way U.S. taxpayers receive income, and report that income to the IRS. Up until now, if some part of that retirement income came from a foreign trust, beneficiaries ran the risk of IRS penalties unless they… Read More
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Categories: Tax / IRS Penalties
Can a U.S. Embassy Seize…

Can a U.S. Embassy Seize Your Passport For Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt?

American citizens living abroad rely on their local U.S. embassy to be their connection to their home country. That includes processing passport renewal applications. But if the IRS has certified you to the State Department for having seriously delin… Read More
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Categories: Tax / IRS Penalties
Failing Company Lead to C…

Failing Company Lead to Criminal Tax Charges for Business Owner

When a business opportunity turns sour it can leave entrepreneurs struggling to pay their employees and satisfy their creditors, including the IRS. A recent Court of Appeals decision shows how decisions made in a failing company led to criminal tax c… Read More
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Categories: Tax / IRS Penalties
Tax Law’s Two Definitio…

Tax Law’s Two Definitions of Willfulness, and Why They are Different

The definitions of words in the U.S. tax code can be the difference between criminal convictions and financial consequences. Most taxpayers would assume that one word in that code would have one meaning. But when it comes to the definitions of willfu… Read More
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Categories: Tax / IRS Penalties
Domino effect in business.

IRS Eclipses Record FBAR Penalties in New Tax Fraud Lawsuit

A recent federal court tax fraud lawsuit against a woman and her deceased husband’s estate has set a new record for FBAR penalties exceeding over $119.6 million. Find out what the IRS says she and her husband did to deserve such a steep penalty. Hu… Read More
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