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Foreign Bank Account Reporting

Foreign Bank Account Reporting - FinCen Form 114 (FBAR) Filing

Gonzalez & Company, C.P.A., P.A., prepares and electronically files FinCen Form 114 (FBAR) for U.S. persons, which include U.S. citizens, resident aliens, trusts, estates, and domestic entities that have an interest in foreign financial account and meet the reporting threshold.  This also includes resident aliens or U.S. territories and U.S. territory entities as well.  The reporting threshold is $10,000.00 in account balance or value at any time during the calendar year in one or more accounts.  You are deemed to have an interest in a financial account or asset when you have a financial interest or signature authority over the financial account or asset.  If you meet these reporting requirements, then the highest balance or value of the financial accounts located in a foreign country shall be reported by the FBAR filing deadline.  For the 2016 FBAR season, the new filing deadline will now be April 15, 2017, which is the same due date for filing your personal income tax return, Form 1040.  An extension will also be available if you apply for the six month extension, which will extend the due date to October 15.   For Americans living abroad, the FBAR due date will be June 15 (after an automatic two month extension).   The FBAR is not filed with your U.S. Personal Income Tax Return.  Instead, it is filed electronically through FinCen’s BSA E-Filing System.  Gonzalez & Company, C.P.A., P.A. is a registered FBAR preparer and e-filer with the United States Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

Below are some of the most common Financial Accounts that you are required to report:

1.     Financial (deposit and custodial) accounts held at foreign financial institutions

2.     Financial account held at a foreign branch of a U.S. financial institution

3.     Foreign financial account for which you have signature authority

4.     Foreign stock or securities held in a financial account at a foreign financial institution

5.     Indirect interests in foreign financial assets through an entity

6.     Foreign mutual funds

7.     Foreign issued life insurance or annuity contract with a cash value

8.     Other financial accounts, but when in doubt, please confirm with an experienced and knowledgeable FinCen Form 114 (FBAR) preparer.

Some of the most common FBAR reporting errors include the following:

1.     Failure to File

2.     Misunderstanding the U.S. $10,000 Filing Threshold

3.     Failure to Report Beneficial Ownership 

4.     Failure to Report Life Insurance, Retirement, and Other Non-traditional Financial Accounts

5.     Failure to File by a US LLC, Partnership, Disregarded Entity or Estate

6.     Failure to File an Individual Report by the Majority Owner of a Business Entity 

7.     Failure to File by the Trustee, Grantor or Beneficiary of a Trust

8.     Filing of Joint FBARs by Spouses, Except in Limited Circumstances

9.     Failure to File by Minor Children

10.  Failure to Comply with Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Record Retention Requirements

Penalties for non-willful reporting can be as high as $10,000.00 per year; if willful, up to the greater of $100,000.00 or 50 percent of the highest account balances.  Criminal penalties may also be imposed.

Here at Gonzalez & Company, C.P.A., P.A. we are able to correctly prepare and timely e-file your FinCen Form 114 (FBAR) through our Expat Tax Services.  We can help you with your current year FBAR or any unfiled and late year filings, including amending any incorrectly filed prior year FBAR(s).  Please contact us to discuss how we can help you so that you will be in compliance with the IRS and the Bank Secrecy Act.

If you'd like to receive more information about our FBAR filing services, please feel free to contact us.

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