Foreign Bank Account Report – FBAR

You must file a foreign bank account report (FBAR) if you have a financial interest in, or signature authority over, one or more foreign financial accounts, and the aggregate value of those accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.

The following types of accounts must be reported on your FBAR: bank accounts such as savings accounts, checking accounts, and time deposits, securities and brokerage accounts, mutual funds, insurance policies with a cash value (such as life insurance policies), some pension accounts (for example Canadian and Swiss pension plans), and any other accounts maintained in a foreign financial institution.


The standard FBAR due date has been changed to April 15, beginning with the 2016 calendar year reports, which are due in 2017. This means that your FBAR for 2016 is due on April 15, 2017. However, you can apply for an extension of time to file.


If you have properly reported the income from your foreign financial accounts on your tax return, you have paid all tax on that income, and you have not previously been contacted regarding an income tax examination or a request for delinquent tax returns, the IRS will not impose a penalty for the failure to file delinquent FBARs. A statement explaining why the filing is late must be included with the filing. Failure to file an FBAR when required to do so may result in civil penalties, criminal penalties, or both.

If you have timely filed your FBAR but are unsure whether you have properly included all your required financial accounts, such as your son’s savings account which is in his name, but over which you have signature authority, or the pension savings account set up in the country in which you live and work, you should contact us. We can give you peace of mind and explain how the FBAR filing requirements apply to your specific personal situation. If needed, we’ll prepare and electronically file an amended FBAR to get you compliant as soon as possible.


If the answer to your FBAR question is not in our FAQs, please use this form to send your question to us. You’ll be contacted by a tax professional. If you prefer to be phoned, please leave your phone number, too.

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