If you are a US person and your foreign (non-U.S.) bank and/or financial accounts, in the aggregate, exceed $10,000 USD at any time during the year you must file an FBAR. A U.S. person is defined as a U.S. citizen, U.S. Green Card holder, U.S. resident or U.S. entity (including U.S. corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, trusts and estates). Additionally, if you have signature authority over a foreign bank or financial account but no financial interest you must still file an FBAR. Likewise for accounts that are jointly held or held by an entity where the U.S. person has a controlling (more than 50%) financial interest held directly or indirectly. The FBAR is filed directly with the U.S. Treasury Department (not the IRS) and is administered by the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The FBAR filing deadline is June 30th each year for the prior year's report and there are no extensions.
The penalties for non-compliance can be substantial. A minimum penalty of $10,000 per violation may be imposed. However, for "willful noncompliance" the penalties ratchet up significantly to the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the account value at the time of the violation.
FBAR Mandatory Electronic Filing Requirement
As of July 1, 2013 all FBARs must be filed electronically. At Lancaster & Reed we have been assisting client's meet their FBAR filing deadlines for over a decade. We closely monitor what seems to be ever evolving FBAR requirements including electronic filing so that are client's are well informed. We have been filing FBARs electronically since the mandate became effective and can assist you or your client in meeting all FBAR filing obligations. Please contact our office for additional information.
U.S. Taxpayer's Holding Foreign Financial Assets May Also need to File:Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, Form 8938. See Form 8938 page for additional information.