On February 28, 2023, the Supreme Court decided Bittner v. United States—a rare Supreme Court foray into Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or FinCEN reporting of foreign bank and financial accounts under the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). The BSA is codified under Title 31 (Money and Finance) of the United States Code rather than Title 26 (the Internal Revenue Code) so the section references in this post are to Title 31. At issue was how to calculate penalties for nonwillful violations of the BSA’s recordkeeping and reporting obligations for foreign transactions and accounts. By a narrow 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court held that the penalty for a nonwillful violation of the reporting requirements shall be assessed on a per-form basis rather than a per-account basis, a result favorable for those taxpayers with nonwillful failures.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Limits Penalties for Nonwillful FBAR Failures in Bittner Decision