Do I need to file an FBAR?
The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) gives the Department of Treasury the authority to collect information from United States persons, including expats, who have financial interests in or signature authority over financial accounts maintained with financial institutions located outside of the United States.
The BSA requires that a FinCEN Report 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (commonly referred to as FBAR reporting), be filed if the maximum values of the foreign financial accounts exceed $10,000 in the aggregate at any time during the calendar year. This means that if you have more than one financial account, you can pass the US$ 10,000 threshold even if you do not have that amount in any one particular account. When adding your balances together, accounts such as checking, savings, pension, cash value insurance policies, and other investment accounts need to be included.
The scope of the FBAR filing requirement is quite broad. Even when an account is solely in the name of a non-U.S. spouse or relative, or in the name of a corporation, and your only connection with the account is the fact that you have the right to sign checks and withdraw from the account, you still have a requirement to file the form and include such account.
The FBAR filing due date is April 15th, but with an automatic extension for a 6-month period ending on October 15th. Taxpayers are not required to file a request form in order to receive the extension.
FBAR Filing Example - Alan the Expat
Although Alan did not have any single account with $10,000 in value and although the aggregate account value of his two accounts did not exceed $10,000 at year-end, Alan would be required to file a 2019 FBAR, because during the 2019 year, the aggregate maximum account value of Alan’s two accounts was more than $10,000 (i.e., $11,000).
FBAR Filing Service
Failure to timely file the FBAR can result in significant penalties, so staying current with your FBAR filing is important.
Filing your FBAR doesn’t need to be complex, but it does need to be rigorous. Our experts bring the best of all worlds together for you – deep expertise and robust online digital tools so that no matter where you are, we’re right there with you. We make filing the FBAR a straightforward and efficient process.