U.S. Supreme Court Declines FATCA Case - What This Means to Individuals with Offshore Accounts

What do a U.S. Senator, the owner of an Albanian brokerage firm, an attorney who is a dual citizen of America and Israel, and a group of current and former U.S. citizen now living in Canada, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic all have in common? They have been denied review by the U.S. Supreme Court in their jointly failed attempt to enjoin the enforcement of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), certain intergovernmental agreements (IGAs), and the foreign bank account reporting (FBAR) penalty.

In 2015, this group of plaintiffs were denied their motion for a preliminary injunction against the federal government's efforts to enforce compliance with foreign account reporting and tax laws, because the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio held the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the challenge, and alternatively, their allegations failed as a matter of law. Crawford v. United States Department of the Treasury, 868 F.3d 438 (6th Cir. 2017). Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court agrees, and given the lack of standing, the matter may not be pursued as a matter of law.

What this means for U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts, and foreign businesses with U.S. reporting and withholding requirements, is that the enforcement efforts largely advanced by the Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Justice Tax Division will continue, without relief.

For individuals, given the soon-to-expire Offshore Voluntary Disclosure program, time is of the essence to get into compliance with offshore reporting to avoid significant penalties for the failure to do so.

Contact one of our attorneys today to learn more.

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