Tuesday, July 25, 2023
George K. Yin (Virginia), Of Blind Men, Elephants, and the Supreme Court's Misinterpretation of the FBAR Statute:
This brief case comment explains how the Supreme Court’s very narrow hunt for individual clues in Bittner v. United States, 598 U.S. __ (2023), led it to misinterpret a statute penalizing certain persons for failing to report properly their foreign bank accounts. Had the Court instead removed its blinders, examined the full elephant in the case—the entirety of the short and straightforward statutory provision—considered what it was trying to accomplish, and applied a dollop of common sense, the answer it sought would have been readily apparent.
As it is, the Court’s error will likely require legislative correction.