We are constantly being asked “Why do I have to worry about filing an FBAR in San Diego and what happens if I don’t?” In many cases, these questions come from PHD’s and highly educated foreign nationals who are working here in San Diego. They have homes in their native country, as well as bank accounts. In many cases they also have investments. Many are surprised to learn they are required by US law to file an FBAR – even if they’ve owned these assets and accounts for several years before coming to the US.
You should worry about filing an FBAR in San Diego if you have any foreign bank account, for any reason, or any combination of accounts that have had a balance of $10,000 or more in the past 6 years. You should worry about filing an FBAR and making a full disclosure through the IRS OVDP program if you have used foreign bank accounts, trusts, investments, foreign corporations or any other entity or financial account to shield income or assets from the IRS. Simply “forgetting” to list an account or two will land you in serious trouble with the IRS, not to mention severe financial exposure and potential criminal prosecution.
This is serious business. The IRS has received information about US taxpayers – residents and citizens – from foreign banks and financial institutions in more than 100 countries. The IRS has already begun data mining that information. They are tying each piece of information back to a unique US taxpayer ID or social security number. The next step is to compare that information with what the taxpayer has reported for the past 6 years. If there is any discrepancy – in the disclosure of accounts, transactions, account balances, asset ownership – expect an intense IRS audit.
Why do you have to worry about filing an FBAR in San Diego and what happens if you don’t? Harsh, draconian penalties of 50% of your highest accumulated account balance each year or $100,000 per incident whichever is higher. Criminal exposure and the serious risk of prison (more than 200 FBAR violators jailed in past two years alone). We invite you to contact us for a free consultation at 866-631-3470. Learn about the skill, IRS tax expertise and international business experience of the attorneys at Allen Barron. Learn about the protections of the attorney-client privilege. Protect yourself. Protect your financial accounts.