The Westin New York at Times Square New York, New York
Richard J. Sapinski
New York University School of Professional Studies
Representing Clients with Foreign Bank Accounts: Cleaning Up Problems and Litigating Proposed Assessments
US persons have been required to disclose their interests in foreign financial accounts on Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBARs”) since the enactment of the Bank Secrecy Act in 1970. Prior to 2009, the government rarely pursued FBAR violations, but that all changed with the announcement of the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure programs. Since 2009, the IRS has assessed massive FBAR penalties against numerous US persons, leading to the inevitable increase in litigation challenging these assessments. This panel addresses the current state of FBAR enforcement, the impact of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Bittner, the current issues pursued in litigation around the country, and what the future holds.