Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Japanese Tax Audit Leads to IRS $11.6M FBAR Assessment

According to Law360, a Japanese businessman and legal resident of the U.S. owes almost $11.6 million in penalties and fees for failing to report dozens of bank accounts he maintained in Japan for over a decade, the U.S. told a Hawaii federal court.

Osamu Kurotaki willfully failed to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts from 2011 to 2013, the government said Thursday in a counterclaim to a February complaint filed by Kurotaki. He also failed to report income he had earned from his overseas companies, according to the government.

Kurotaki Said In His February Complaint That He Was Not Aware Of His Obligation To File FBARs And Did Not Understand The Implications Until An Audit In Japan.

He claimed his tax preparer did not discuss the requirement with him. The Internal Revenue Service did not obtain the necessary supervisory approval before imposing the penalties, according to Kurotaki, and the agency improperly included balances in his penalties.

However, Kurotaki deliberately failed to report income from real estate and apparel companies he operated in Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and the U.S., the government said in its counterclaim. He also had a financial interest in 42 foreign bank accounts in 2011, 36 in 2012 and 32 in 2013, the government said.

Kurotaki disregarded numerous indications that he had to report his foreign accounts, the government said. 

He Received Notices From His Tax Preparer That There Were Penalties For Failing To Report, According To The Government.

 He Also Ignored An "FBAR Client Letter" From His Preparer Informing Him Of The Requirement And Inviting Him To Discuss Any Questions About It.

Kurotaki never disclosed his accounts to his tax preparer, the government claimed. Instead, he signed and returned a tax form to his preparer omitting a page that asked for his foreign account information, according to the government.

He eventually filed delinquent FBARs for 2011 and 2012 but failed to include all his accounts, the government said. He timely filed a 2013 form but it, too, failed to list all his accounts, according to the government.

People are typically obliged to disclose foreign accounts if their balances exceed $10,000 by using FBARs, which are filed annually and are due in April. Compliance penalties are steeper for willful violations than nonwillful violations.

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