By Bryan C. Skarlatos & Michael Sardar
New York University 68th Institute On Federal Taxation
For nearly four decades, the law has required United States taxpayers to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts ("FBARs") disclosing the existence of foreign bank accounts holding more than a certain amount of money. 1 However, until recently, most taxpayers and many tax professionals had no idea these reporting obligation and they were rarely enforced. That has all changed with the recent investigation of UBS and the subsequent focus on offshore financial assets. The IRS has signaled that it intends to police the FBAR reporting requirements with much more vigilance.2 The evolution of the FBAR reporting requirements from a relatively obscure form that most taxpayers and tax return preparers did not know about into one of the IRS's most significant enforcement priorities in years raises questions about when it is appropriate for the IRS to penalize taxpayers who failed to file past years' FBARs.
Taxpayers with unreported foreign bank accounts are sweating bullets these days. The IRS is in the midst of an unprecedented crackdown on foreign bank accounts. The primary example is the criminal prosecution of UBS (f/k/a Union Bank of Switzerland). In February 2009, the criminal case was resolved by a deferred-prosecution agreement pursuant to which UBS agreed to pay a huge fine, cooperate with the IRS, and turn over the names of approximately 285 U.S. taxpayers with accounts at the bank. Shortly thereafter, UBS settled a civil summons proceeding with the IRS and agreed to provide the identities of another 4,450 U.S. taxpayers with accounts at the bank. These developments caused a surge of 15,000 taxpayers with foreign bank accounts to disclose voluntarily their previously unreported accounts to the IRS.
Jerald David August Presented at the American Law Institute CLE Video Webcast Event, “Estate Tax Repeal: In-Depth Analysis of Impact on Estate & Small Business PlanningLive Video Webcast for Estate Planners & Tax Lawyers"
On Tuesday, February 16, 2010, Jerald David August presented at the American Law Institute CLE Webcast Event, "“Estate Tax Repeal: In-Depth Analysis of Impact on Estate & Small Business PlanningLive Video Webcast for Estate Planners & Tax Lawyers"
Estate planners, business planners and tax lawyers face unusual problems due to the estate tax repeal for 2010. Will the tax be reinstated for 2010? Will it be retroactive? How should you advise your clients amidst such uncertainty?
Nationally recognized estate planners and tax counsel present this live video webcast to lay out the effects of the repeal, and to suggest possible courses of action for the prudent lawyer.
Attend from your office or home or anywhere you have internet connectivity.
All registrants may ask questions via email at the live video webcast and at the scheduled replays.
All registrants will receive a significant set of course materials via the internet, and will have access to the program archives, at no additional charge.
Bryan Skarlatos quoted in Reuters, "UBS Wins Appeal Against U.S. Data Handover."
Bryan Skarlatos quoted in the Wall Street Journal, "Swiss Ruling Muddles UBS Pact With U.S."