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March 26, 2021

Divided Ninth Circuit reverses and remands, holding non-willful penalty for late but accurate FBAR filing does not apply to each taxpayer account

In United States v. Jane Boyd, the Ninth Circuit has reversed and remanded a district court decision that had sustained the Service’s imposition of penalties for 13 non-willful violations of the FBAR reporting requirements, one for each account the taxpayer failed to timely report for 2010. The appellate majority held that 31 U.S.C. Section 5314(a)(5)(A) authorizes the IRS to impose one non-willful penalty when an accurate FBAR is filed late, regardless of the number of accounts. The dissent asserted that the majority’s interpretation is “contrary to the language of the relevant statutes and regulations, and is implausible in context.” A Tax Alert on the opinion is forthcoming.