BREAKING: European Court of Justice rules against Spain's 'FBAR'...

...citing disproportionate penalties, pan-EU capital movement infringement 

Europe's top court has ruled against Spain's Modelo 720 "foreign asset law", declaring that its disproportionate penalties and potentially restrictive effects on the free movement of capital and payments across EU borders were violations of European regulations. 

  • News

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear FBAR case

Foreign Bank Account Report-watchers have long wondered when an FBAR case would finally reach the Supreme Court, and in so doing, at last begin settling questions having to do with the scope of FBAR penalties, which can be draconian.

But as Monday's Supreme Court announcement denying Alice Kimble the writ of certiorari that she had petitioned for back in June showed, the wait for the great, long-awaited FBAR showdown is set to run a little longer than some might have hoped it  would...

  • News

Potentially significant ruling seen, as U.S. appeals court finds 'non-willful penalty' should apply 'per FBAR'

In the latest in a series of cases that experts say has potentially major repercussions for expatriate Americans, a U.S. District Court in California has ruled that the penalty for a so-called "non-willful" failure to file foreign bank account reports (FBARs) should be calculated on a "per-FBAR", annual form basis, rather than for each bank account held by the American taxpayer in question outside the U.S.

  • News

What visitors to the U.S. should know about the secretive Mr. FBAR

The introduction of the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) requirement in 1970, as a result of the Bank Secrecy Act of that year, may well be one of the most enduring legacies of the Nixon administration, says John Richardson, a Toronto-based lawyer who helps Americans with citizenship issues. Here, he reveals a little-known aspect of what the fine print of the FBAR legislation actually says, with respect to non-Americans who travel to the U.S., and who happen to have bank accounts back home...

FBAR deadline pushed back to Dec. 31; What the FBAR is, and why it matters

Editor's note: The news about the date when FBARs for the year ending on Dec. 31, 2019 are due has changed.
Please see our most recent report on this subject.

As U.S. tax experts will tell you, today, Oct. 15, is the extended deadline for all U.S. expats to have their 1040 tax returns filed; and, until yesterday, it was also "FBAR Day." Which is to say, the day when FBARs for the year ending Dec. 31, 2019 were also due. 

As of yesterday, though, FBAR Day has been pushed back to Dec. 31, 2020, according to a notice posted on the website of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which oversees FBARs, (even though the IRS handles tax returns).... 

  • News

Texas Court rules 'non-willful penalty' should apply 'per FBAR' not per account

In a case experts say has potentially major repercussions for expatriate Americans, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has ruled that the penalty for so-called "non-willful violations" of the U.S. Foreign Bank Account Reporting regulations should be calculated on a "per-FBAR", rather than per account, basis.

  • Tax

'Dangerous liaisons': Foreign assets and their U.S. taxpayer nominees

For various reasons, people, including those with U.S. tax obligations,  have long taken advantage of the option to use so-called "nominees" to hold legal title to some of their non-U.S. assets. But while there can be arguably good reasons for doing so, especially in countries where Shariah Law can dictate how assets are distributed when someone dies, it can also result in huge and unexpected problems.

Here, in an excerpt from her most recent blog, Dubai-based tax expert Virginia La Torre Jeker considers some of the issues that can arise.

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Essential Financial Acronyms for Americans Living Abroad

Essential Financial Acronyms for Americans Living Abroad

The American Expat Financial News Journal’s “Essential Financial Acronyms for Americans Living Abroad” is designed to help our fellow Yanks in Expatland to navigate the international seas of the financial...