Reporting requirements

Report of foreign bank and financial accounts (FBAR)

If you have a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, trust, or other type of foreign financial account, exceeding certain thresholds, the Bank Secrecy Act may require you to report the account yearly to the IRS by filing electronically a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). See the "Who Must File an FBAR" section below for additional criteria.

Who must file an FBAR

United States persons are required to file an FBAR if:

  • The United States person had a financial interest in or signature authority over at least one financial account located outside of the United States; and
  • The aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded USD 10,000 at any time during the calendar year to be reported.

United States person includes US citizens; US 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.

Exceptions to the FBAR can be found in the FBAR instructions.

New Due Date for FBARs

The new annual due date for filing Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for foreign financial accounts is April 15. This date change was mandated by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, Public Law 114-41 (the “Act”). Specifically, section 2006(b)(11) of the Act changes the FBAR due date to April 15 to coincide with the federal income tax filing season.

The Act also mandates a maximum six-month extension of the filing deadline. To implement the statute with minimal burden to the public and FinCEN, FinCEN will grant filers failing to meet the FBAR annual due date of April 15 an automatic extension to October 15 each year. Accordingly, specific requests for this extension are not required.

 Get your US reporting and taxes right with an experienced, Swiss-based US tax adviser.

Source: irs.gov 

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