FBAR Investigations and Litigation: Compliance Traps, IRS Guidance, FBAR Defense Strategies, Recent Cases, Penalties

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, September 24, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE/CPE course will provide tax counsel and advisers a critical analysis of FBAR examination, procedures, and litigation. The panel will discuss key compliance traps for foreign asset reporting, IRS guidance and relief for certain taxpayers, and new cases with issues of first impression relating to FBAR compliance.


The IRS is aggressively enforcing compliance with U.S. tax rules and foreign accounts compliance. This is particularly true in the case of failure to file a FinCen Form 114 (FBAR), where the IRS has had several high-profile court victories upholding penalties for willful failure to file.

Taxpayers with international tax reporting obligations suffer from rigorous compliance and enforcement efforts and overly complicated rules and regulations. The IRS is increasingly more effective at identifying non compliant taxpayers focusing on (1) reporting issues with respect to foreign accounts, assets, and investments, and (2) foreign income generated from foreign businesses, gifts, inheritances, mutual funds, and other passive investments.

Significant FBAR penalties, in particular, had been a powerful enforcement tool for the IRS. Possessing an in-depth understanding of FBAR filing rules and regulations will assist counsel and tax advisers in helping taxpayers maintain compliance and avoid FBAR investigations that may result in severe civil and criminal penalties.

Listen as our panel explains FBAR filing and reporting requirements, navigating FBAR examination and litigation, the evolution of the "non-willful" standard, and managing administrative appeals, the federal district court, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims litigation.



  1. Critical compliance issues and resolution options
  2. Navigating the FBAR examination and assessment process and administrative appeals
  3. Penalties and FBAR defense strategy
  4. Litigation; recent cases and IRS enforcement actions


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the standards for "reasonable cause" abatement?
  • What are the critical challenges of FBAR controversies, administrative appeals, the district court, and the court of federal claims litigation?
  • Why does the APA provide possible grounds for defending against FBAR penalty assessments that are not available to taxpayers challenging other IRS foreign-related penalties?


Dawson, James
James (Jim) Dawson

Holland & Knight

Mr. Dawson is a highly experienced tax litigator and business advisor with extensive knowledge resolving Internal...  |  Read More

Ziering, Zhanna
Zhanna A. Ziering

Caplin & Drysdale

Ms. Ziering offers guidance to individual and corporate clients who require sophisticated tax advice concerning their...  |  Read More

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