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Filing Requirements

Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account (FBAR).

Every US citizen who has a financial interest in or signature authority over a financial account in a foreign country  must file an  annual report if the aggregate balance in the accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.

The form is called FinCEN Form 114

The Foreign Bank and Financial Account or FBAR must be received by  June 30th of the year following the year that the account holder meets the $10,000 threshold. 

  • The FBAR is a separate financial information filing that is sent to the US Treasury and must be received by (vs postmarked by) June 30th. There are no extensions available for filing the FBAR. (Although this will change in 2017) 
  • The granting, by IRS, of an extension to file Federal income tax returns does not extend the due date for filing an FBAR. (Although this will change in 2017) 
  • There are potentially severe penalties that could be levied for the failure to file an FBAR on time even if no tax is due. It is therefore worth ensuring that this not overlooked.

E- Filing the FBAR

The FBAR or FINCEN 114, must now be filed electronically, although in certain limited circumstances, it may still be possible to send in a paper form. The form is not difficult to fill out, but the process can be very time consuming. It is therefore, strongly advised that you set aside ample time to complete the process, if you intend on doing it yourself. 

You should allow adequate time to:

(i) Gather all your foreign bank/financial account information, including those in pension funds, and investment accounts

(ii) register in advance (allow at least 5 working days)

(iii) figure out how to adjust the browser setting on your computer to enable the FINCEN 114/BSA e-filing System to work properly.