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Tax Blawg

Tax Talk Blog for Tax Pros

Welcome to TaxBlawg, a blog resource from Chamberlain Hrdlicka for news and analysis of current legal issues facing tax practitioners. Although blawg.com identifies nearly 1,400 active “blawgs,” including 20+ blawgs related to taxation and estate planning, the needs of tax professionals have received surprisingly little attention.

Tax practitioners have previously lacked a dedicated resource to call their own. For those intrepid souls, we offer TaxBlawg, a forum of tax talk for tax pros.

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Where There's No Will, There's a Way to Avoid FBAR Penalties

Nowadays, newspapers and tax journals often contain articles about international tax issues, particularly the duty of U.S. persons to file an annual Form TD F 90-22.1 ("FBAR") to report their interests in foreign financial accounts.  As general knowledge of the FBAR increases, the chances of taxpayers avoiding penalties on grounds that they did not act "willfully" decrease. Nevertheless, one recent case fought before both the Tax Court and a federal district court, in United States v. Williams, 09-cv-437 (E.D. Va. 2010), offers support for the notion that where there's no will, there's a way to avoid harsh FBAR penalties.

This article examines how Williams might be used to defend other taxpayers and offers insight into the world of modern FBAR enforcement.

  • Hale E. Sheppard
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    Hale Sheppard is a partner in the Tax Controversy & Litigation Section and Chair of the International Tax Section.  He defends clients in tax audits, tax appeals, and Tax Court litigation, covering both domestic and ...