We’ve blogged about international tax law translations, legal translations, financial translations. As an attorney, you may see an increase in the number of clients seeking advice on reporting foreign-based financial accounts. Since the government is starting to look more closely at foreign held assets, clients will be seeking sound legal advice on what they are and are not required to report.
According to the Bank Secrecy Act, each U.S. person must file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) if:
- The value of the account exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, and
- The person has financial interest in, signature authority over one or more accounts in a foreign country.
The IRS has recently announced a “tax amnesty” for those who report all foreign income that should have been reported previously. By taking advantage of this, individuals can avoid serving jail time. For this reason, it is critical that clients be made aware of this program and counseled on whether or not they should take advantage of the amnesty. Issues that must be examined include balancing financial, tax and criminal considerations. Often times this examination will require a foreign language translation of foreign financial documents, along with foreign legal statutes. The amnesty expires on September 22nd.