FBAR LawyersFBAR Lawyers: An FBAR Attorney is a Lawyer who represents Taxpayers with filing FBARs when the foreign account holder needs to file late or delinquent FBARs — or has already been issued penalties. Not all filers require the services of a Lawyer. Rather, when a U.S. person has unreported foreign accounts and wants to get into compliance — they may need an FBAR Attorney to represent them before the IRS and/or in Federal Court. While any lawyer can claim to be an attorney who specializes in FBAR — there are only a handful of international tax lawyers across the globe who are Board-Certified Tax Law Specialists with advanced degrees and +20-years legal experience in tax/law that specialize exclusively in offshore account and asset compliance. In the past 10-years, the IRS has significantly increased enforcement of offshore and foreign asset and account tax matters. When a U.S. person (includes more than just individuals) has more than $10,000 in an annual aggregate total of foreign accounts on any given day of the year, they may have an FBAR filing requirement. Let’s review the basics of vetting and hiring an FBAR Lawyer.
When is an FBAR Lawyer Necessary?If the account holder has not filed the FBAR timely, they may be subject to civil penalties and possibly criminal penalties — although the latter is rare. The only time a US Person may need an FBAR Attorney is when they have not filed FBARs in one or more previous years and want to submit to one of the Voluntary Disclosure or FBAR Amnesty Programs — or they have been issued a penalty notice. When penalties are at issue, hiring an experienced FBAR Lawyer Specialist is a good investment. We have an entire website dedicated to FBAR filing and compliance.
FBAR – What is it?The FBAR is FinCEN Form 114. It was developed by FinCEN in 1970 but compliance is enforced by the IRS.
Who is Required to File the FBAR?US Persons who meet the annual aggregate total threshold for filing may have an FBAR reporting requirement. FinCEN defines a U.S. Person as:
- “United States Person. United States person means United States citizens (including minor children); United States residents; entities, including but not limited to, corporations, partnerships, or limited liability companies created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States; and trusts or estates formed under the laws of the United States. Note. The federal tax treatment of an entity does not determine whether the entity has an FBAR filing requirement.
FBAR Filing Threshold & Due DayThe threshold kicks in when a US Person has ownership, co-ownership, or signature authority over foreign financial accounts that total more than $10,000 in annual aggregate total on any given day of the year (not +$10,000 per account, but in total between all accounts). The FBAR is due to be filed in April, to coincide with the due date for filing a tax return. FBAR filing is on automatic extension through October — so there is no additional requirement to file a separate extension form.
What Types of Accounts are Reported on the FBAR?All types of bank and financial accounts are included. It includes an account a US person has ownership (aka Financial Interest) or Signature Authority such as:
- Bank Accounts
- Investment Accounts
- Foreign Pension Accounts
- Life Insurance Policies
- Mutual Funds and other funds