Friday, March 19, 2021

Another Court Adopts Nonwillful Penalty Per Form Rather than Per Account (3/19/2)

In United States v. Giraldi (D. N.J. 3/16/21), TN here and TN pdf here, the Court held (Slip op. 8): “[T]his Court aligns with the more persuasive reasoning in Bittner and Kaufman. Accordingly, pursuant to Section 5321(a)(5)(B)(i) of the BSA, penalties for non-willful reporting violations attach to each FBAR form rather than any undisclosed foreign financial account.”

The Court distinguishes the only contrary precedent, Boyd, as follows (Slip op. 15): “Significantly, the court merely reiterated the Government's arguments and conducted no analysis in coming to its conclusion.”

I see a trend developing for per form rather than per account.  For what it is worth, I think that is the right answer.  I do note, however, that the judge indicated that the opinion was not to be published.  I don’t know what that is about because it is a well written opinion in an area of law still not settled.

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