Foreign Bank and Financial Account Reporting

Any U.S. citizen or Green Card Holder with a bank or financial account outside the US should review the filing requirements carefully.  The need to file includes those who have no financial interest in an account but do have signature authority over an account.  If the aggregate balance of all accounts exceeds $10,000 or assets exceed $50,000 on the last day of the calendar year, the form must be filed.

  • This includes: U.S. citizens, residents, U.S. entities, corporations, partnerships, or limited liability companies and certain trusts.
  • Foreign (Non-US) Financial Accounts include bank accounts, Brokerage Accounts, Mutual Funds, Trusts, Pensions and other types of foreign financial accounts.

How do I file these forms?

The forms must be filed electronically. They cannot be paper filed.

Do I need to pay tax on the money declared on the forms?

No, these are strictly reporting forms disclosing non-US accounts.  On the form you provide the account details along with your name, address and identifying information.  There are no tax consequences when filing.

The filing due date for 2018 is April 15, 2019. However, an Automatic 6-month extension until October 15, 2019, is available.  No extension request is required.

Is there a deadline to file?

Concerns and Quick Assistance on FBAR

  • 1.

    Does my spouse also need to file FBAR separately?

    Yes, if the spouse’s aggregate non-US bank and financial account balance exceeds $10,000 during the tax year. Unlike a tax return, there is no joint filing available.

  • 2.

    Are there penalties for not filing the forms?

    If determined that the violation is willful, the penalty may be the greater of $100,000 or 50% of all account balances. If non-willful, the maximum penalty could be up to $10,000.

  • 3.

    Are balances in jointly held accounts also considered for the threshold limit of $10,000?

    Yes. It is understood each name on the account 'owns' the total balance.

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