If you or your clients own assets outside the US you now have a new and additional report to file subject to hefty fines if yuo do not. Read on...
The following comes from the IRS website
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), enacted in 2010 as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, is an important development in U.S. efforts to combat tax evasion by U.S. persons holding investments in offshore accounts.
Under FATCA, U.S. taxpayers holding financial assets outside the United States must report those assets to the IRS on a new form attached to their tax return. Penalties apply for failure to comply with this new reporting requirement. Reporting is required for assets held in taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011.
FATCA requires any U.S. person holding foreign financial assets with an aggregate value exceeding $50,000 to report certain information about those assets on a new form (Form 8938) that must be attached to the taxpayer’s annual tax return. Reporting applies for assets held in taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011. Failure to report foreign financial assets on Form 8938 will result in a penalty of $10,000 (and a penalty up to $50,000 for continued failure after IRS notification). Further, underpayments of tax attributable to non-disclosed foreign financial assets will be subject to an additional substantial understatement penalty of 40 percent.