Did you know that if you have a foreign bank account, or even just signature authority over a foreign account that isn’t in your name, that your CPA should know about it? While there is no specific tax on having a foreign bank account, the penalty for failure to disclose can range from $10,000 and up to 50% of the balance of the account if the failure is found to be willful. The IRS is working down their lists. Years ago they were going after billionaires with secret Swiss bank accounts, but more recently they are enforcing penalties against much smaller account holders. Two weeks ago, in a more shocking court case, a taxpayer was ordered to pay $697,229 related to an account inherited from her parents who had survived the holocaust and kept the account hidden in Switzerland. Click here for full details.
If you or someone you know may have undisclosed foreign assets or signature authority over a foreign account, we encourage you to be proactive and let us assist you with the issue at hand.