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Do You Need to Report Foreign Assets? Yes!

After years of diplomatic and legal wrangling,Switzerlandagreed in 2013 to cooperate with tax evasion probes by the IRS, essentially eliminating the privacy of the “Swiss bank account.”

The Swiss Parliament confirmed the negotiated agreement in late September 2013 and it takes full effect July 1, 2014. Experts estimate tens of thousands of Americans hold accounts there, as well as in nearly 200 other countries. The penalty for not disclosing these assets is steep, so if you hold accounts overseas, now’s the time to divulge your investments to the U.S. Treasury.

Non-disclosure penalties start at 5% and rise to 27.5% of your undisclosed foreign assets. Reportable assets are not just those in your personal name, but include any owned indirectly, such as in trusts, corporations and any other accounts over which you maintain control.

If you wait to disclose till caught, the IRS can assess up to 50% of the highest value of any account during each year of non-disclosure. In fact, the fine could potentially outweigh the current value of your investments.

Prior amnesty windows from 2009-2011, then again in 2012, yielded 38,000 new conforming taxpayers with $5.5 billion in new tax. Those remaining underground are either uninformed, naïve, or seriously entrenched. With this new instrument in the IRS toolbox, the wise will join those now reporting as required.

The filing deadline for reporting your holdings on FinCEN Form 114 is June 30, without any options for extensions, so time is ticking.

Patrick & Robinson CPAs is pleased to help but don’t wait until the last minute! Contact us at Office@CPAsite.com or 904-396-5400.

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