Navigating the IRS Penalty Abatement Procedures for Foreign Information Reporting Noncompliance

Requesting Penalty Abatements for Failure to File Forms 5471, 5472, FATCA and FBAR

A live 90-minute CLE/CPE webinar with interactive Q&A


Tuesday, September 12, 2017
1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT


This CLE/CPE webinar will provide tax counsel with a detailed discussion of best practices for requesting abatements of IRS penalties due to failure to properly file required international information forms such as the FBAR, Form 8938, and Forms 5471 and 5472. The panel will discuss the current trends in IRS abatement and will provide guidance on drafting abatement requests.

Description

Tax reporting of international accounts and activities are complex, and failure to file foreign tax informational forms triggers more severe penalties than failure to file most domestic tax informational forms. The IRS has ramped up its attention and resources to international and transnational tax compliance reporting.

The Internal Revenue Code sets penalties for failure to file Forms 5471 and 5472 at $10,000 per unfiled return. Also, Code Section 6038(c) provides for a reduction of 10% or more of foreign taxes available for credit under Sections 901, 902 and 960. Likewise, the penalties for failure to file the FBAR (FinCEN Form 114) range from $10,000 for non-willful failure to the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the account balance at the time of the violation for willful noncompliance.

The IRS employs strict standards for determining whether a taxpayer qualifies for an abatement of penalties for failure to file required foreign tax returns. After the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report indicating that IRS controls over penalties were deficient, leading to incorrect abatements, the IRS increased scrutiny over foreign penalty abatement requests.

With the IRS continually increasing penalty assessments and decreasing the number of abatements, tax counsel must be fully knowledgeable of the requirements and processes for requesting abatements of penalties.

Listen as our experienced panel provides best practices for documenting and filing requests for abatement of foreign tax penalties.

Outline

  1. OVDP and penalty avoidance programs
  2. What happens when penalty avoidance fails?
  3. Penalty structures
  4. Reasonable cause abatement standards
  5. Best practices in drafting penalty abatement requests
  6. IRS penalty abatement request process

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What foreign reporting forms are subject to foreign tax reporting penalties?
  • What are the penalty structures for non-willful and willful failure to file?
  • What are the standards for “reasonable cause” abatement?
  • What is the IRS penalty abatement decision tree model and how does it apply to requests to abate foreign tax penalties?
  • What standards are used by the courts, and the IRS to determine willfulness?
  • How can the IRS Streamlined Procedures be used to mitigate various penalties?

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the penalty structures for failure to accurately and timely file required foreign tax information forms
  • Recognize the IRS standards for reasonable cause abatement requests and understand the IRS decision-making process as found in the Internal Revenue Manual for evaluating abatements
  • Ascertain components of documenting a penalty abatement request that conforms with IRS requirements

Faculty

Dennis N. Brager, Esq.
Brager Tax Law Group, Los Angeles

Mr. Brager is a nationally known tax litigation attorney, representing clients in criminal and civil tax litigation and tax controversy matters. Before founding the Brager Tax Law Group, a Los Angeles-based tax litigation and tax controversy law firm, he was a senior trial attorney for the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Chief Counsel. Since 2008 he has represented several hundred clients with offshore accounts. He also represents clients on a variety of issues, including criminal and civil tax fraud, tax audit and appeals, payroll and sales tax problems, tax preparer penalties, innocent spouse defenses, offers in compromise, installment payment agreements, Office of Professional Responsibility (“OPR”) defenses and more.

Joel N. Crouch, Managing Partner
Meadows Collier Reed Cousins Crouch & Ungerman, Dallas

Mr. Crouch specializ​es in civil and criminal tax controversies ​involv​ing sophisticated and complex legal and tax issues, both domestic and international.​ He has extensive experience in resolving tax matters at all stages of a tax dispute including IRS examinations, administrative appeals, and litigation in the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and U.S. District Courts​, and before the United States Supreme Court. He is a frequent speaker on both substantive and procedural tax issues for both legal and accounting professionals.


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CPE on Live Event

Continuing Professional Education credit processing is available for an additional fee per person. You may register for CPE credit processing at any time before or after the program. To qualify for CPE you may not listen via the telephone.

This program is eligible for 1.5 CPE credits.

  • Field of Study: Taxes.
  • Level of Knowledge: Intermediate.
  • Advance Preparation: None.
  • Teaching Method: Seminar/Lecture.
  • Delivery Method: Group-Internet (via computer).
  • Attendance Monitoring Method: Attendance is monitored electronically via a participant's PIN and through a series of verification codes announced throughout the presentation.
  • Prerequisite: Three years+ business or public firm experience at mid-level within the organization, preparing complex tax forms and schedules for domestic and multinational businesses; supervisory authority over other preparers/accountants. Knowledge and understanding of foreign information filing requirements and penalties for non-compliance; familiarity with IRS processes for penalty abatement requests.

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Tax Law Advisory Board

Robert S. Barnett

Partner

Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld

William H. Byrnes

Associate Dean, Special Projects

Texas A&M University Law

Robert A.N. Cudd

Senior Partner

Polsinelli

Patrick Derdenger

Tax Partner

Steptoe & Johnson

Janice Eiseman

Principal

Cummings & Lockwood

Lynn Fowler

Partner

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Edward Froelich

Of Counsel

Morrison & Foerster

Daniel L. Gottfried

Partner

Hinckley Allen

J. Leigh Griffith

Partner and Practice Group Leader - Tax

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis

L. Andrew Immerman

Partner

Alston & Bird

Mark S. Lange

Partner

BakerHostetler

Joseph C. Mandarino

Partner

Smith Gambrell & Russell

Lori Mathison

Partner, Cross-Border Transactions Tax

Fraser Milner Casgrain

Christian M. McBurney

Partner

Arent Fox

Suzanne Ross McDowell

Partner, Tax-Exempt Organizations

Steptoe & Johnson

Todd Reinstein

Partner, Corporate Tax and Due Diligence

Pepper Hamilton

Alex Sadler

Partner

Morgan Lewis

Susan Seabrook

Shareholder

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney

Peter Stathopoulos

Managing Director, State and Local Tax Practice

Bennett Thrasher

Eric Tresh

Partner & Co-Chair, State & Local Tax Practice

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan

Amanda Wilson

Shareholder

Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed

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