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The IRS’s Bank Secrecy Act Program Has Minimal Impact on Compliance

In Bank Secrecy Act by Jason Freeman and Katie ManworrenLeave a Comment

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) published a report in September 2018 entitled The Internal Revenue Service’s Bank Secrecy Act Program Has Minimal Impact on Compliance. The report’s findings are based on an audit TIGTA performed to “evaluate the impact of the IRS’s compliance efforts related to its delegated authority under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).” This authority …

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IRS Required to Return FBAR “Penalty:” Penalty was “Illegally Exacted”

In Bank Secrecy Act, FBAR, White Collar, Willfulness by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

The much-anticipated decision in Bedrosian v. United States was released on Wednesday of this week, and it did not fail to disappoint—unless, of course, you find yourself on the latter side of the “v” in the case caption.  The case presented a fundamental FBAR issue: was Bedrosian’s failure to report his foreign account “willful?”  If it was, he would have …

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FinCEN Targets Money Laundering in Real Estate Transactions

In Anti Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act by Jason Freeman1 Comment

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) just announced revised Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies that are used to purchase high-end residential real estate in targeted transactions.  The Orders apply to seven specifically designated metropolitan areas.  A GTO is an order issued by FinCEN under the Bank Secrecy Act that …

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Litigating FBAR Penalties: The Burden of Proof and the Meaning of Willfulness

In Bank Secrecy Act, Defenses, FBAR, Tax Litigation, White Collar, Willfulness by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

The recent case of United States v. Bohanec, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170149 (Dec. 8, 2016) provides the latest glimpse into the world of FBAR penalty litigation. Among other things, the case looks at two interesting and important procedural issues: the meaning of willfulness and the burden of proof necessary to prove it. In Bohanec, the government asserted a penalty …

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FinCEN’s Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Rules Drive Compliance with FATCA

In Anti Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

Earlier this year, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published new rules that strengthen customer due diligence (CDD) requirements for banks, brokers or dealers in securities, mutual funds, and futures commission merchants and introducing brokers in commodities (collectively, so-called, Covered Financial Institutions).  The new rules, which go into effect May 11, 2018, place new due diligence obligations on covered financial …