March 15, 2011 - Phil Hodgen

H-1B person in need of FBAR assistance

This is a comment on another post on my blog. It is important to give this a more prominent platform, so I did a cut/paste and brought it over here again. If Google hates me because of duplicate content, well, Google, go stick your nose in a dead bear’s bum. 🙂

Any experienced accountant or lawyer who wants a referral, please email me. I will pass along your contact information. (I have the gentleman’s email address).

Here’s the gentleman’s comment:


I am working here on work visa (H1B) from 2008 and for the tax purpose I am a residential alien. I was completely unaware that the US tax is for global income and about the FBAR requirements. Because of this I haven’t included the interest/income earned in India while filing 2008 and 2009 tax return. I have several accounts in India, most of which are created before coming to US .I was working in India before coming to US and my account include Tax-exempt(for Indian income tax) investment as well. In addition to the interest I earned on these accounts, I am also getting a small portion of my salary around $150/month in India from my employer, which was not shown in my W2.

Since I don’t have a long term plan to stay here in US, I used to send all my savings to India on a regular basis. I don’t have any asset or major investment in US. But recently I came to know that the US tax is for global income and I was supposed to disclose all my accounts in India. I assume my tax liability for both 2008 and 2009 will be around $1500 and the maximum account value during 2010 is around $80,000 worth of investment. So the 25% FBAR penalty will be around $20,000. This will be a huge amount for people like me who does not even own a house. I always want to go in the proper route and would like to fix these issues, but the cost I have to pay for this is too much for an NON WILLING mistake.

Will I be able to request for a FBAR penalty waiver? Is my unawareness a reasonable cause? Will the IRS accept my penalty waiver request?

After going through all the blogs I am feeling that IRS is worse than the Somalia pirates.

I am also looking for some professional help with a reasonable cost to proceed further on this.

Someone out there please volunteer to help this guy.

And oh, by the way, is this not the perfect way to chase highly skilled workers away from the United States? Unintended (perhaps intended?) consequences, Mr. Shulman.

US Real Estate Investments Voluntary Disclosure