International Financial Law Prof Blog

Editor: William Byrnes
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The BSA Civil Penalty Regime: Reckless Conduct Can Produce “Willful” Penalties

By   wherein the attorney for Ballad Spahr states: "As noted, the new FBAR opinions (United States v. Markus, from the District of New Jersey, and Norman v. United States, from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims) are merely the latest opinions issued in an ongoing battle between the government and the tax controversy and white collar defense bar regarding the proper definition of “willfulness” for the purposes of the civil FBAR penalty – a penalty which can be very severe (half the value of the undisclosed offshore account, for each year of the violation), and a battle which the government, with some wrinkles, has been winning.  True to this trend, both Markus and Norman find that the IRS properly assessed a willfulness penalty against the taxpayers who previously had undisclosed foreign accounts. What is important for our purposes here is how they describe the willfulness standard."

Read his analysis of these opinions, and their impact on FBAR compliance, penalties, and litigation on his Ballad Spahr blog here.

Jack Townsend's analysis in his blog:

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/intfinlaw/2018/08/the-bsa-civil-penalty-regime-reckless-conduct-can-produce-willful-penalties.html

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