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Maryland Federal District Court Issues Willful FBAR Penalty Opinion in United States v. Horowitz – No. PWG-16-1997 – PDF

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On January 18, 2019, the U.S. District Court held defendants liable for the willful FBAR Penalty in its opinion in United States v. Horowitz, No. PWG-16-1997 (PDF attached here). The court rejected defendants’ argument that the IRS had reversed the penalties. The court found that the assessment against the wife was improper because she did not have financial interest or signature authority.

The court enforced the willfulness penalty against the husband, basing the willfulness finding almost entirely on the information in schedule B regarding foreign accounts. In addition, the court declined to follow the finding of United States v. Colliot, 2018 WL 2271381 (W.D. Texas 2018) that IRS regulation limits the penalty to $100,000 and instead followed the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Ruling in Kimble v. United States, No. 17-421, 2018 WL 6816546 (Fed. Cl. Dec. 27, 2018) that the regulation was invalid as inconsistent with the statute.