Here’s a great example of how an important rule that may affect your life gets BURIED within a giant piece of legislation—
At first glance the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 doesn’t seem like it should have any impact on foreign bank accounts.
But in fact it does significantly.
This piece of legislation signed into law last week, changes the filing deadline for an FBAR by over two months.
If you’re not familiar, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, commonly known as the FBAR, is a form that US taxpayers must submit to report foreign bank and financial accounts.
In general, any US citizen, resident, corporation, partnership, LLC, etc. which either has a financial interest in, or signature authority over, a foreign financial account or accounts, must file the FBAR. Given that the aggregate total across all the accounts was at least $10,000 at any point during the previous calendar year.
Curiously, the FBAR is not filed to the IRS. It goes to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and is submitted electronically via form FinCEN 114.
The FBAR filing deadline used to be June 30th every year, meaning that you had until June 30th to report all your financial accounts for the previous calendar year.
Now, HR 3236 changes the filing date to April 15th of each year to coincide with the US tax filing deadline.
This is pretty important news if you have a foreign bank account given that there are steep penalties for not filing.
But you won’t ever hear about it. At least not from the government.
Important changes like this are quietly passed and buried under hundreds of pages of legislation.
Yet they just expect you to know about it. As the old saying goes, ‘ignorance of the law is not an excuse.’
It’s as if these politicians honestly believe that people are sitting around watching CSPAN all day and reading the text of all the laws being debated.
And often times, the rules and regulations aren’t even passed by Congress.
In the Land of the Free, executive agencies have the authority to create their own rules, all of which have the same weight and effect as the laws passed by Congress.
And the volume is astounding.
Just yesterday, in fact, there were over 300 pages of new rules and regulations published in the Land of the Free, and nearly 80,000 published last year.
These rules govern things like what we can and cannot put in our bodies, how we can educate our own children, and what we’re allowed to do with our own property.
It’s impossible to keep up with all of this. And yet these rules often come with severe administrative, civil, and even criminal penalties for non-compliance.
You, at this exact moment as you read these words, are in violation of probably half a dozen regulations that you’ve never heard of, buried deep within over 175,000 pages of rules.
It’s all part of how the government in the Land of the Free has turned everyone into a criminal for simply existing.
Which means that if you ever get on the bad side of some bureaucrat, or anyone ever decides to go after you, they’ll easily be able to find dozens of charges to bring up against you.
And it’s not going to stop.
This is what freedom means today in America.
And while I can understand that there are a lot of nice conveniences to living in America, it’s time to be honest with yourself and to acknowledge that freedom is no longer one of those conveniences.