Rushed into an FBAR Filing?
Were You Rushed into an FBAR Filing: Our International Tax and Law Firm has lost count of the number of times a client comes to us with the same FBAR Reporting situation. The U.S. Person with foreign accounts learns about FBAR reporting for the first time. They do some digging on Google, only to get scared out of there wit about what is going to happen to them.
This is called FBAR fear mongering.
Next, the Taxpayer schedules a “free consultation” with an attorney that touts themselves as an expert. (Read: Tax Experts do not tout themselves as experts).
The attorney is not a Board-Certified Specialist in Tax, and they are definitely not experts. The firm plays into your fear and confirms that yes, you’ll be going to prison forever if you don’t file FBAR ASAP…
UNLESS you immediately sign with the firm and get the late FBARs filed before the IRS Special Agents come knocking on your door.
Unfortunately, when these clients come to us, they are usually in a worse situation than they would have otherwise been.
As with anything in life, signing up with the generalist tax firm for complicated FBAR matters off of a single free telephone call when you were unnecessarily scared and goaded into signing on immediately for representation — when you knew it just didn’t feel right — is not the way to go.
5 Late FBAR Filing Tips
Here are some important late FBAR Filing Tips:
Make Sure You Have an FBAR Requirement
Not every foreign or offshore asset is reportable on the FBAR.
For example, interests you own in a foreign corporation or partnership are not reportable on the FBAR (but the accounts held by entity may be reportable).
Ownership in stock certificates (unless you have a stock account), or foreign rental property is not reported on the FBAR either.
Determine Which FBAR Program You Qualify For
Some attorneys are all too quick to throw you into the streamline program even if you were willful.
Likewise, some attorneys will automatically determine you are willful without conducting a proper analysis and throw you into voluntary disclosure (VDP), even when you do not belong there — despite the enormous penalty you may be subject to.
Make Sure Your Tax Attorney is a Board-Certified Specialist
On the Internet, anyone can say what they want about themselves.
The only credentials a tax attorney will have to prove their knowledge is the board-certified tax law specialist and an LL.M. in tax law.
Learn how to hire an FBAR Attorney, and what questions to ask before hiring.
Don’t be Misled by Kovel
When a tax attorney is not proficient enough to handle your tax preparation with their own in-house team, they will issue a Kovel letter.
These letters provides limited protection if any at all, and can be rejected by the courts.
Be sure the attorney explains what is protected, and what is not protected under Kovel.
ALWAYS Go with Your Gut
Nothing is able to assess the situation better than your gut.
Listen to it.
If it is telling you that the attorney is being too aggressive, then they probably are.
If the firm is telling you to sign with their firm right now before giving you a chance to speak with other counsel (who are usually more experienced) doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t — and not the best fit for you.
Our FBAR Lawyers Represent Clients Worldwide
Our FBAR Lawyer team specializes exclusively in international tax, and specifically IRS offshore disclosure.
We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants, and Financial Professionals across the globe. Our attorneys have worked with thousands of clients on offshore disclosure matters, including FATCA & FBAR.
Each case is led by a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist with 20 years of experience, and the entire matter (tax and legal) is handled by our team, in-house.
*Please beware of copycat tax and law firms misleading the public about their credentials and experience.
Less than 1% of Tax Attorneys Nationwide Are Certified Specialists
Sean M. Golding is one of less than 350 Attorneys (out of more than 200,000 practicing California Attorneys) to earn the Certified Tax Law Specialist credential. The credential is awarded to less than 1% of Attorneys.
Recent Case Highlights
- We represented a client in an 8-figure disclosure that spanned 7 countries.
- We represented a high-net-worth client to facilitate a complex expatriation with offshore disclosure.
- We represented an overseas family with bringing multiple businesses & personal investments into U.S. tax and offshore compliance.
- We took over a case from a small firm that unsuccessfully submitted multiple clients to IRS Offshore Disclosure.
- We successfully completed several recent disclosures for clients with assets ranging from $50,000 – $7,000,000+.
How to Hire Experienced Offshore Counsel?
Generally, experienced attorneys in this field will have the following credentials/experience:
- 20-years experience as a practicing attorney
- Extensive litigation, high-stakes audit and trial experience
- Board Certified Tax Law Specialist credential
- Master’s of Tax Law (LL.M.)
- Dually Licensed as an EA (Enrolled Agent) or CPA
Interested in Learning More about Golding & Golding?
No matter where in the world you reside, our international tax team can get you IRS offshore compliant.
Golding & Golding specializes in FBAR and FATCA. Contact our firm today for assistance with getting compliant.