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Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report

Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report

Table of Contents

Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report (FBAR)

Every Americans must report certain foreign financial accounts, such as bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and mutual funds, to the Treasury Department every year and retain certain records of those accounts under the Bank Secrecy Act to avoid IRS penalties. On FinCEN Form 114, you report the accounts by filing a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

Who is Required To File An FBAR Report?

A United States person, including a citizen, resident, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, trust, or estate, must file an FBAR to report:

1) a financial interest in or signature or other authority over at least one financial account located outside the United States if the aggregate value of those foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year; and

2) a financial interest in or signature or other authority over at least one financial account located outside the United States if the aggregate value of those foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any

A foreign financial account is one that is held at a financial institution outside of the United States. Whether or not the account generated taxable revenue has no bearing on whether or not it qualifies as a “foreign financial account” for FBAR purposes.

However, you are exempt from reporting foreign financial accounts if they are:

1) Nostro/Correspondent accounts.

2) It is owned by the government.

3) It is owned by a global financial institution.

4) Stored in a military banking facility in the United States.

5) You own or are the beneficiary of an individual retirement account (IRA).

6) Belongs to a retirement plan in which you are either a participant or a beneficiary.

7) If a U.S. person (trust, trustee, or agent of the trust) files an FBAR disclosing these accounts, you are a beneficiary of that trust.

You don’t have to file an FBAR for the calendar year if you meet the following criteria:

1) A consolidated FBAR is used to report all of your foreign bank accounts.

2) You and your spouse jointly own all of your foreign financial accounts, and you completed and signed FinCEN Form 114a authorizing your spouse to file on your behalf, and your spouse discloses the jointly-owned accounts on a timely filed and signed FBAR.

When Should You File FBAR Report?

The FBAR is an annual report that is due on April 15 of the year reported. 

If you don’t file your FBAR form by April 15, you’ll be given an automatic extension until October 15. To file the FBAR, you do not need to request an extension.

The government may extend your FBAR deadline if you are impacted by a natural calamity. It’s critical that you read all applicable FBAR Relief Notices for the most up-to-date information.

The 2018 FBAR due date has been postponed to April 15, 2020 for certain employees or officers with signing or other authority over, but no financial interest in, certain overseas financial accounts. See Notice 2018-1 for more information.

What is The Procedure To File For FBAR Report?

The FBAR must be filed electronically through the BSA E-Filing System of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The FBAR is not filed with your federal tax return.

How To Report Foreign Bank Accounts? (FBAR)

You must call FinCEN’s Regulatory Helpline to request an exception from e-filing if you want to file your FBAR on paper. To reach this Helpline, please see the Contact Us section below. If FinCEN authorises your request, you will get a printed FBAR form to fill out and mail to the IRS at the address shown on the form. Paper filings on TD F 90-22.1 (obsolete) or a printed FinCEN Form 114 will not be accepted by the IRS (for e-filing only).

FinCEN Report 114a, Record of Authorization to Electronically File FBARs, can be used to authorize someone else to file your FBAR on your behalf. FinCEN Report 114a is not submitted with the FBAR; instead, preserve it for your records and make it available to FinCEN or the IRS upon request.

Important Documents That Must Be Kept To File FBAR Report

There are few requirements for reporting foreign bank and financial accounts. For each account you must report on an FBAR, you must preserve documents that establish:

1) The account’s name.

2) Account identification number.

3) The foreign bank’s name and address.

4) The account type.

5) The highest point of the year.

The sort of document to maintain with this information isn’t specified in the law; it might be bank statements or a copy of a filed FBAR, for example, if they have all the information.

From the FBAR’s due date, you must preserve these records for five years.

An officer or employee who submits an FBAR to report signatory authority over an employer’s overseas bank account is exempt from keeping personal records on those accounts. These accounts must be documented by the employer.

Possible FBAR Penalties

Here are the penalties along with U.S. code citations:

  • S. Code Citation: 31 U.S.C. 5321(a)(5)(B)(i)

Description: Foreign Financial Agency Transaction – Non-Willful Violation of Transaction.

Current maximum amount: $12,921

  • S. Code Citation: 31 U.S.C. 5321(a)(5)(C)

Description: Foreign Financial Agency Transaction – Willful Violation of Transaction

Current maximum amount: Greater of $129,210, or 50% of the amount per 31 U.S.C.5321(a)(5)(D)

  • S. Code Citation: 31 U.S.C. 5321(a)(6)(A)

Description: Negligent Violation by Financial Institution or Non-Financial Trade or Business

Current maximum amount: $1,118

  • S. Code Citation: 31 U.S.C. 5321(a)(6)(B)

Description: Pattern of Negligent Activity by Financial Institution or Non-Financial Trade or Business

Current maximum amount: $86,976

Delinquent FBARs Must Be Filed

Filing an FBAR late or not at all is a violation that could result in fines (see Penalties above). If you have not been contacted by IRS about a late FBAR and are not the subject of a civil or criminal investigation by IRS, you may file late FBARs and should do so as quickly as possible to avoid potential fines. You should file late FBARs as soon as possible to avoid potential penalties.

To explain why you’re late with your filing, follow these steps. Follow the guidelines for any optional FBAR noncompliance programs you’re participating in, such as Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures or Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures.

FBAR Issues

If the IRS starts an FBAR examination as a result of an income tax examination, you can file Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (Title 26). Complete Line 3, which authorises the following actions:

1) Under “Matters Relating to Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” or “FBAR Examination,” select “Matters Relating to Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.”

2) FinCEN Form 114 (Tax Form Number)

3) In the Year(s) or Period(s) section, select the corresponding tax year (s)

(Note: To fulfil Line 5a, further acts approved, disregard earlier guidelines.)

If there isn’t a linked income tax examination, don’t utilize Form 2848. You can utilize a general power of attorney form that has been completed according to state legislation.

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