FBAR 2020: (Almost) Everything You Need to Know about FBAR

FBAR 2020: The IRS FBAR 2020 filing requirements are finally here. The FBAR is the Foreign Bank Account Reporting Form (aka FinCEN 114). The form is used to report Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.

FBAR (2020)

The FBAR 2019 form is due April 2020, but is on automatic extension. FBAR reporting is a key enforcement priority, and FBAR reporting requirements can be complicated. The failure to file the FBAR can lead to excessive fines and penalties.

We will summarize the basics for you.

FBAR FinCEN Form 114

FBAR or FinCEN Form 114 is used to report foreign bank and financial accounts. FBAR is not limited to individuals. Entities, Trusts and Estates may also have an FBAR filing requirement. The threshold for filing is when the filer has an “annual aggregate total” of more than $10,000 on any day of the year.

In addition, the FBAR requires more than just bank accounts. FBAR also includes:

  • Investment Accounts
  • Mutual Funds
  • Stock Accounts
  • Life Insurance


FBAR is the Foreign Bank and Financial Account Form. The FBAR form must be filed electronically.

FBAR Filing

FBAR Filing can be complicated, depending on the specific FBAR Filing requirements of the filer. For example, if a person has one savings account in Taiwan, the reporting is not that bad. But, if a person has 50 accounts, life insurance, mutual funds, and foreign life insurance — the FBAR filing may be much more complicated.

FBAR Filing Deadline 2020

The FBAR filing deadline is relatively forgiving. Unless the IRS and FinCEN change the current FBAR filing deadline rules, then the FBAR is due when your tax returns are due (April or June). But, the FBAR is on automatic extension through October.

FBAR Instructions 2020

The FBAR Instructions as provided by the IRS and FinCEN can be dense. Therefore, Golding & Golding have prepared our own FBAR instructions for your reference.

FBAR Reporting

FBAR Reporting is the general term for filing the FBAR. FBAR reporting involves the preparation, analysis and submission of the FBAR.

FBAR Requirements

FBAR requirements can be deceivingly complicated. While the form itself is not overly complex, and the due date is relative clear — the actual FBAR requirements are many. Some accounts may have to reported on the FBAR, which may not be required on other common forms, such as the Form 8938 (signatory accounts with no interest in the account). Likewise, while direct ownership of stock is not required to be included on the FBAR —  a stock account may be required.

FBAR Penalties

FBAR penalties: The failure to file the FBAR (or filing the FBAR late) may result in FBAR penalties. FBAR penalties can be broken down into different categories:

  • Willful FBAR Penalties
  • Non-Willful FBAR Penalties
  • Civil FBAR Penalties
  • Criminal FBAR Penalties

Golding & Golding: About Our International Tax Law Firm

Golding & Golding specializes exclusively in international tax, and specifically IRS offshore disclosure

We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants, and Financial Professionals across the globe. Our attorneys have worked with thousands of clients on offshore disclosure matters, including FATCA & FBAR.

Each case is led by a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist with 20 years of experience, and the entire matter (tax and legal) is handled by our team, in-house.

*Please beware of copycat tax and law firms misleading the public about their credentials and experience.

Less than 1% of Tax Attorneys Nationwide Are Certified Specialists

Sean M. Golding is one of less than 350 Attorneys (out of more than 200,000 practicing California Attorneys) to earn the Certified Tax Law Specialist credential. The credential is awarded to less than 1% of Attorneys.

Recent Golding & Golding Case Highlights

  • We represented a client in an 8-figure disclosure that spanned 7 countries.
  • We represented a high-net-worth client to facilitate a complex expatriation with offshore disclosure.
  • We represented an overseas family with bringing multiple businesses & personal investments into U.S. tax and offshore compliance.
  • We took over a case from a small firm that unsuccessfully submitted multiple clients to IRS Offshore Disclosure.
  • We successfully completed several recent disclosures for clients with assets ranging from $50,000 – $7,000,000+.

How to Hire Experienced Offshore Counsel

Generally, experienced attorneys in this field will have the following credentials/experience:

  • 20-years experience as a practicing attorney
  • Extensive litigation, high-stakes audit and trial experience
  • Board Certified Tax Law Specialist credential
  • Master’s of Tax Law (LL.M.)
  • Dually Licensed as an EA (Enrolled Agent) or CPA

Interested in Learning More about Golding & Golding?

No matter where in the world you reside, our international tax team can get you IRS offshore compliant. 

Golding & Golding specializes in FBAR and FATCA. Contact our firm today for assistance with getting compliant.