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Court Finds That the Criminal Offense for a U.S. Resident’s Willful Failure to File an FBAR was Not Unconstitutionally Vague

Court Finds That the Criminal Offense for a U.S. Resident’s Willful Failure to File an FBAR was Not Unconstitutionally Vague

Certain taxpayers who are citizens of foreign countries also have green cards granting them resident status in the United States. Some argue the laws regarding their obligation to file FBARs are unconstitutionally vague.

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What is The Weapon of Choice of the Government When Prosecuting Taxpayers?

What is The Weapon of Choice of the Government When Prosecuting Taxpayers?

The Government Has Focused a Considerable Amount of Energy To Prosecute Taxpayers Who Failed to File FBAR Reports and Accurately Account For Taxes. The Government has used the Required Records Doctrine to compel taxpayers to produce foreign bank account records.

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The Fifth Amendment Does Not Protect Taxpayers From Being Forced to Produce Certain Required Records Even If The Records Are Incriminating.

The Fifth Amendment Does Not Protect Taxpayers From Being Forced to Produce Certain Required Records Even If The Records Are Incriminating.

The Fifth Amendment protects individual taxpayers from being compelled to testify when such testimony is incriminating. This rule has been held to apply to the records in the custody and control of the taxpayer. However, when the taxpayer is required to maintain the records for non-law enforcement reasons that are public in nature, the Required Records Doctrine authorizes the government to subpoena such records. This is recognized as an exception to the Fifth Amendment.

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Definition of "Willful" in Civil Cases

Definition of "Willful" in Civil Cases

District Court finds in FBAR penalty trial that the definition of willful in civil cases includes reckless disregard of tax laws. The Court found that the burden of proof in a civil FBAR penalty case was a mere preponderance of the evidence. The IRS was not bound by the opinion of General Counsel or its own manual that state that the definition of willful should be the same in civil cases as in criminal cases.

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