Foreign Bank Account Reporting
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Reporting Foreign Bank Accounts and US citizens living overseas who are required to file US Tax Returns, are both very technical and complex for most tax attorneys and CPA’s.
JG Associates has provided this service to hundreds of tax payers who have overseas accounts and tax returns; we know exactly what to do and in most cases complete the task in just days. This duty mandates that you are critically in compliance and we highly suggest that you hire a strong advocate to make sure your rights are protected.
Our vast IRS inside knowledge has allowed us to take the lead in resolutions when it comes to overseas accounts. We never back-down to the IRS’s intimidating tactics. In fact, none of our over 40,000+ clients has ever been criminally charged.
If you have ever had more than $10,000 total at any one time in one or more foreign banks or financial institutions and you are a US citizen (or US person), you have a requirement to report it to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN). Failure to timely file the report and report the income from foreign accounts on your US tax return can result in severe penalties and or criminal prosecution. If you had a requirement to file and didn’t, you could have tremendous exposure. Fortunately, the IRS created an amnesty program for voluntary compliance called the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The OVDP allows taxpayers to voluntarily file past due FBARS and file or amend their tax returns to report the income from these accounts subject to reduced penalties and avoidance of criminal prosecution. They have modified the program and extended the deadline dates several times.
Currently, a date has not been set to end the OVDP program, but the IRS has advised that they can end the program any time. If you have or had a duty to report you need to step forward and do it now. The reason is that in 2010 Congress passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (as part of the HIRE Act of 2010). It requires foreign financial institutions to reveal the assets of U.S. taxpayers to the IRS or else face stiff penalties. As a result of FATCA, banks worldwide are now cooperating and going through their accounts to see if depositors have U.S. connections. Should the IRS discover that you have or had foreign financial accounts subject to the reporting requirements and decide to audit you it is too late to find cover under the voluntary program. You will be subject to maximum penalties and the possibility of criminal prosecution.
I am a US citizen living in Germany making good money as a mechanical engineer for a German company. I was filing self-prepared German income tax returns and paying the German income tax but had no idea I was also supposed to file US tax returns. I also had a savings account in a German bank which accumulated to over $200,000 – $150,000 of which I inherited from my mother when she passed a few years ago. A year ago I discovered that I should have been filing and paying US taxes on money I earned in excess of the income exclusion. I didn’t know what to do so I went to a local accounting firm and they informed me that not only did I need to file US tax returns I should have also been filing an annual report in the US disclosing I had money in a foreign bank account. I learned later that this is called FBAR. They told me that they could not prepare my US tax returns and could not help me with the FBAR reporting. I went on the internet and read about JG Associates so I emailed them for advice. They explained that they would prepare my back US tax returns, but I needed to send them copies of my German tax returns which were in German of course. JG told me that their staff can interpret foreign language returns and also handle back dated currency conversion. I realized that filing US returns in my situation was more complicated than I thought. They agreed that I was also in violation of US law regarding not being compliant with FBAR reporting but assured me that they would handle everything and not to worry. What a relief. JG Associates certainly exceeded my expectations. They prepared several years returns and handled by back FBAR filing requirement under the voluntary disclosure program and saved me thousands of dollars in penalties that I would have had if the IRS discovered I was out of compliance on their own. I was very impressed and would not hesitate to recommend JG Associates for anyone needing help dealing with the IRS.
I am 55 years old and have always lived and worked in the US. About 10 years ago my wealthy aunt died and left me a large sum of money that was in a French bank account. I liked the interest rate it was paying and decided to keep the account there. I also added to the account over the years. I have always filed and paid my taxes on time but never reported the interest income on the French account. Then I read an article in the newspaper that the IRS was putting pressure on UBS bank in Switzerland to give them the names etc. of US citizens having accounts with the bank. The IRS was starting to crackdown on taxpayers not disclosing foreign bank accounts and not disclosing the foreign income. I then realized that I may be affected by this crackdown and didn’t know what to do. I had questions like how far back do I have to report, how many years tax returns do I have to amend, who is going to be able to read my bank statements that were in French (of course). I spoke to a couple local accounting firms and it became obvious that they did not have a clue. I found JG Associates on line. When I explained my situation to the tax specialist he assured me that they knew how to handle everything to limit my exposure and that interpreting the French bank statements was not a problem. They amended 8 years tax returns and handled all of the back FBAR filings. I could not have been more pleased with the results and how they handled everything very professionally. I highly recommend JG Associates.