I’ll be transmitting my first few tax returns to the IRS this coming week. As I looked at Schedule B, I noticed a change in the questions at the bottom of Schedule B:
7a At any time during 2011, did you have a financial interest in or signature authority over a financial account (such as a bank account, securities account, or brokerage account) located in a foreign country? See instructions
Hmmm, that’s different. Let’s see what the instructions have to say:
Line 7a–Question 1. Check the “Yes” box if at any time during 2011 you had a financial interest in or signature authority over a financial account located in a foreign country. See the definitions that follow. Check the “Yes” box even if you are not required to file Form TD F 90-22.1.
So for the first time the IRS is demanding that if you had a foreign financial account and it had $1 in it, you must check the box. And since a tax return is signed under penalty of perjury, I will be asking you whether or not you had a foreign financial account in 2011.
Note that this is also a new reason someone may have to file a tax return. As noted on the instructions, this question must be completed if you had a foreign account during the year. Thus, some individuals who have no income but have small foreign financial accounts (valued at less than $10,000) will have to file a tax return for 2011.
As Joe Kristan and others have said, the IRS continues to aim its guns at the jaywalkers.