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July 26, 2012

FBAR (TDF 90-22.1) - When is there willful failure to file which leads to highest penalties?

The  4th District Federal Court has just held that there is willful failure to file an FBAR (TDF 90-22.1) form when you check the box "NO" on schedule B with reference to foreign bank and finanical accounts when you know you have combined highest balances in foreign accounts of $10,000 or more during the year. They stated this is sufficient showing of willfulness whether or not you know the FBAR (TDF 90-22.1) existed or was required to be filed.

If you willfully fail to file an FBAR form the penalties can be the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the highest balance in your accounts for each year. There are also criminal penalties  for willful failure to file of up to five years in Jail and a $250,000 fine.

The penalties for non-willful failure to file the Form can be $10,000 or less.

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