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New Filing Date for Foreign Bank Account Return

istock-tax-blog-cliffBy:  Amanda Wilson

If you have a foreign bank account (or signatory authority on a foreign bank account), you are required to file a Form 114 (commonly called an FBAR) if at any point during the calendar year the combined balance in all of your foreign accounts exceeds $10,000.  Failure to file the FBAR can result in hefty penalties and even criminal charges.  I previously discussed FBARS here.

Why am I bringing this up again?  Because the filing deadline has moved from June 30th to April 15th.  The good news, though, is that the government is granting all filers an automatic 6 month extension to October 15th.   No extension request is necessary.

Foreign Citizen Living In the U.S.? Remember Your FBAR

By:  Amanda Wilson

If you are a foreign citizen that is considered to be a resident for U.S. income tax purposes, you need to be aware that your U.S. tax filing obligation is not limited to the income tax return.  U.S. taxpayers (including foreign residents) that have more than $10,000 in foreign bank accounts or other types of foreign investments are required to file Form 114 (commonly known as an FBAR) by June 30th of every year.

If you are a foreign citizen, you may be wondering why I am drawing special attention to you.  The reason is that you may have one or more bank accounts in your home country and not realize that the filing obligation extends to these accounts.  This is, in my experience, a common misconception.  In addition, you could also have a filing obligation if you have signatory authority over an account.  If a family member in your home country lists you on their account, the account often needs to be disclosed.

It is important that you determine whether you have foreign accounts that, in the aggregate, exceed $10,000 at any point during the calendar year.  If so, file the FBAR.  Failure to file the FBAR can result in significant civil and even criminal penalties.  For example, the penalty can be up to $100,000 or 50% of the highest balance in your account if the IRS finds your failure to file was willful.

The form is filed electronically here.

 

Didn’t File an FBAR? Don’t Panic

istock-tax-blog-cliffBy:  Amanda Wilson

As I discussed in a prior blog post (found here), if you have more than $10,000 in a foreign bank account, you are obligated to file Form 114 (commonly known as an FBAR).   Failure to make this filing can result in significant civil penalties, and can also result in some cases in jail time.

If you did not realize that you were supposed to file an FBAR and therefore failed to do so, do not panic.  The IRS has programs in place to help bring you in compliance, including the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.  A qualified tax advisor can help you evaluate your options and decide which approach is best for you.

It is important to be proactive, though, and address the situation before the IRS finds you.  If the IRS finds you first, your options are much more limited.

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