Failure to file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) on TDF 90-22.1 is crime under the Bank Secrecy Act punishable by up to 5 years in jail. Failure to file an FBAR usually goes hand in hand with tax fraud, and other tax problems. There is a common belief that if a person is a senior citizen he is safe from criminal prosecution. While that may have been true in the past, current FBAR and tax evasion prosecutions are breaking that pattern. Seventy six year old Leonid Zaltsberg pled guilty to charges of tax evasion and failing to file an FBAR on July 1, 2010. According to news reports he failed to report $60,000 in income over a six year period on an account with a maximum balance of $2.6 million.
Just in case you read that too quickly let me repeat. Over a six year period Zaltsberg, age 76, failed to report $60,000; that’s $10,000 per year! Granted it’s not pocket change, but we’re hardly talking about a big-time tax evader. According to his daughter as reported by David Voreacos, in Bloomberg News Zaltsberg has bladder and prostate cancer.
This case is a stark reminder to tax lawyers, and CPAs that they can not assume that because the amount of unreported tax is relative small their clients do not have criminal tax exposure. Clients need to be informed of the risks, and the way those risks can be minimized through a voluntary disclosure.
If you have a Swiss bank account, a Hong Kong bank account, or a foreign bank account in any country, and would like to discuss your options, contact the tax litigation lawyers at Brager Tax Law Group, A P.C.