Applying Civil Penalties for Willful Violations of FBAR Requirements

By Caroline Rule
The CPA Journal
October 2016 Edition 

Will the Fifth Circuit Clarify the IRS’s Burden of Proof?

District courts and other authorities disagree on whether the IRS must prove willfulness by a preponderance of the evidence or by clear and convincing evidence when seeking a civil penalty for willful failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). A pending appeal, Gubserv. Comm’r [No. 16-40948 (5th Cir.)], may ultimately lead to the first Federal Court of Appeals authority on the issue.