How do I File the FBAR FinCEN Form 114?
How do I file the FBAR? For U.S. persons with foreign accounts and assets, FBAR filing can be a bit of a stressor. The form must be filed with the IRS electronically, the due date continues to change, and the failure to timely file the FBAR may result in significant fines and penalties.
Questions about FBAR filing are common, and we have authored countless articles on FBAR Filing. But, sometimes the best way to help out the general public – especially those new to FBAR Filing – is to come back to the basics.
In this article, we will answer the following questions:
- What is the FBAR?
- Who Must file the FBAR?
- When is the FBAR due?
- What is included on the FBAR?
- What if the FBAR Is not filed?
- What if the FBAR is filed late?
- What are the Penalties?
- How can I avoid FBAR Penalties?
What is the FBAR?
The FBAR is foreign bank account reporting form. The FBAR is also referred to as Foreign Bank and Financial Account Reporting and/or FinCEN Form 114. FinCEN is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. And, even though the FBAR was developed by FinCEN, it is enforced by the IRS.
Who Must file the FBAR?
The FBAR is filed by any U.S. Person (individual, entity, trust, estate) that meets the threshold requirements for filing. The threshold requirement is simply that the filer has “more than $10,000 in aggregate annual total in foreign accounts on any day of the year.”
When is the FBAR due?
The FBAR is due on April 15. But, currently (subject to change), the FBAR is on automatic extension to coincide with the filing of your tax return.
What is included on the FBAR?
Generally, the only information required for the FBAR is the filer’s identifying information, and the information about each account:
- Foreign Financial Institution Name
- Account number
- Maximum balance
*The FBAR is an international “reporting form.” It is not a tax form, so whether or not the account generates income that may lead to a U.S. tax liability does not impact the filing of the FBAR.
What if the FBAR Is not filed?
If the FBAR is not filed, it may lead to fines and penalties.
What if the FBAR is filed late?
There is no “extension” form for the FBAR. If the FBAR is filed late, the filer is still subject to the same penalties as if the FBAR was not filed.
What are the Penalties for FBAR?
The penalties range extensively. Sometimes, the IRS may issue warning letter in lieu of penalty. Other times, the IRS can hit the filer with a $10,000 per account, per year penalty; willful penalties of 50% maximum balance of the account (per year, up to 100% value of the account), or criminal penalties.
Non-Compliance with U.S. Tax Law
Whether it is because you did not you had to report foreign accounts, thought you were below the threshold for filing, did not realize non-bank accounts were required to be reported, and/or have other unreported income, accounts, investments or assets – we can help.
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.