The Internal Revenue Service memo is written in the terse, dry voice of the bureaucrat, but its meaning becomes clear as a reader plows through it. The bottom line of the memo about FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) enforcement is that the IRS wants to improve its compliance efforts. It wants to make sure that those who have in the past failed to report assets in overseas accounts do so now, and that they pay taxes, interest and any penalties owed.
The IRS acknowledges in the memo that it carries the burden of proving that an FBAR violation took place, and when it alleges that the violation was willful, it carries the additional burden of proving that the act was indeed willful. It also describes the processes it will now go through in each open FBAR case to determine what penalties it shall impose and in which instances it will consider criminal referrals.