IF YOU OWN OR CONTROL A SWISS OR OTHER FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNT PLEASE READ:
POTENTIAL CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR UNDECLARED FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS INCLUDING SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS!
WHO MUST FILE
If you are a United States Person and you own or control a Foreign Financial Account  with a balance over $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, you are obligated to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (the “FBAR”). The FBAR must be received by the Department of the Treasury on or before June 30th of the year immediately following the calendar year being reported. The June 30th filing date may not be extended.
The penalties for failing to file can be quite severe. A person who is required to file an FBAR and fails to properly file may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per violation. If there is reasonable cause for the failure and the balance in the account is properly reported, no penalty will be imposed. A person who willfully fails to report an account or account identifying information may be subject to a civil monetary penalty equal to the greater of $100,000 or 50 percent of the balance in the account at the time of the violation. Willful violations may also be subject to criminal penalties.
“AMNESTY” and the OVDP
The IRS has shown a willingness to compromise the amount of penalties assessed against voluntary reporters.
In 2012, the IRS, under the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), effective January 9, 2012, has stated that taxpayers must file returns and pay back taxes for up to eight years, and pay a 20% accuracy-related or delinquency penalty. The FBAR or “offshore penalty” has been increased to 27.5% of the highest foreign account balance, but this penalty may be reduced to 12.5% or 5% in certain instances. In the past, the OVDP has expired in September of the relevant year, but the IRS, while setting no deadline this year, has indicated it can end the program at any time. Thus, sooner is better if these issues affect you.
We can help analyze and negotiate the best resolution for you. Please call our office for a free initial consultation.
THE THOMAS LAW GROUP
 According to the IRS, a United States person means United States
citizens; United States residents; entities, including but not limited to,
corporations, partnerships, or limited liability companies created or
organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States;
and trusts or estates formed under the laws of the United States.
 According to the IRS, a financial account includes, but is not limited to, a
securities, brokerage, savings, demand, checking, deposit, time deposit,
or other account maintained with a financial institution (or other person
performing the services of a financial institution). A financial account
also includes a commodity futures or options account, an insurance
policy with a cash value (such as a whole life insurance policy), an
annuity policy with a cash value, and shares in a mutual fund or similar
pooled fund (i.e., a fund that is available to the general public with a regular
net asset value determination and regular redemptions).
 According to the IRS, a foreign financial account is a financial
account located outside of the United States. For example, an account
maintained with a branch of a United States bank that is physically
located outside of the United States is a foreign financial account. An
account maintained with a branch of a foreign bank that is physically
located in the United States is not a foreign financial account.