Written by: Theodore M. David, Chair, Tax Law Committee
1) How Far the FBAR?
2) IRS Stats
3) Where’s the Refund?
1) Unfortunately way too many Americans hide their assets overseas. That goes for individuals as well as corporations. It is a game played by the 1% you read about. In a very weak effort to control where exactly this stuff is to be found, IRS created the FBAR project. It requires taxpayers to file a form with the IRS with stiff penalties for those who get caught. Though I cannot confirm my belief, I think this is another example of IRS smoke and mirrors. Giving people the impression that they are in fact on top of this worldwide abuse. The IRS recently posted a reminder with regard to this form filing: A special reporting requirement applies to most people who have foreign bank or financial accounts. Often referred to as the FBAR requirement, it is separate from and in addition to any reporting required on either Schedule B or Form 8938.The FBAR requirement applies to anyone with an interest in, or signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2021. They must file electronically with the Treasury Department a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Because of this threshold, the IRS encourages taxpayers with foreign assets, even relatively small ones, to check if this filing requirement applies to them. The form is only available through the BSA E-filing System website. Tied to the regular tax-filing due date, the deadline for filing the annual FBAR was generally April 18, 2022. But FinCEN is granting filers who missed the original deadline an automatic extension until Oct. 17, 2022. There is no need to request this extension. And for those who dodge reporting their “world wide “income another IRS warning: Federal law requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report any worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts. In most cases, affected taxpayers need to complete and attach Schedule B to their tax return. Part III of Schedule B asks about the existence of foreign accounts, such as bank and securities accounts, and usually requires U.S. citizens to report the country in which each account is located. So rest assured the problem is being addressed, sort of.
2) If you have read all of Shakespeare’s sonnets and looking for some really intriguing stuff to sink your teeth into nothing beats the IRS Data Book! The IRS has issued the Data Book detailing the agency’s activities during fiscal year 2021 (October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021) as well as new information on recent audit data. In addition to describing work performed during the pandemic, the IRS Data Book comprises 33 tables describing a variety of IRS activities from returns processed, revenue collected and refunds issued to the number of examinations conducted and the amount of additional tax recommended as well as budget and personnel information. The Data Book provides point-in-time estimates of IRS activities as of September 2021. For additional context, the IRS also released a related, lengthier discussion on recent audit data.
3). So you filed your tax return and still haven’t gotten your refund. There’s no point asking your accountant about it, they have no clue. But IRS can in fact help. The Where’s My Refund? Online tool has been enhanced to allow taxpayers to check the status of their current tax year and two previous years’ refunds. They can select any of the three most recent tax years to check their refund status. They’ll need their Social Security number or ITIN, filing status and expected refund amount from the original filed tax return for the tax year they’re checking. Please direct your clients to Where’s My Refund? on IRS.gov for more information.
Questions or comments should be emailed to: Tdavidlawyer@gmail.com