I have a tendency to make the same mistake every year. I take in a pile of disorganized receipts and numbers to someone who will be helping me do my US taxes. It is usually about this time that I get to hear about yet another new requirement or a changing of the rules and then I think “IRS you rotten bloobity blabity group”.
I should really be thinking you §$%&/%$ elected politicians who have been lobbied either externally or internally about changing the rules to make sure that some innocent freebie does not go untracked.
This year while providing a stack of information I received the question about the “Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets).” Huh?
This filing requirement would be triggered if you had “specified foreign financial assets” in an amount greater than 200,000 on the last day of the year (12/31/14) or more than 300,000 at any time during the year.
This was probably brought up by those kind people who decided we should be filling out the Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) report. It is a wonderful little form that lists the name, address, bank account details, and your personal details – for every single account you have access to. Oh, just to make it really series, did we mention the penalties.
For willful violations, the penalty may be the greater of $100,000 or 50 percent of the balance in the account at the time of the violation…
Perhaps the blame shouldn’t be put at the feet of the Internal Revenue Service but rather the politicians. Yet at tax time, it is hard to make the distinction.