Stephen C. Fox, CPA
U.S. International Tax
Stephen C. Fox, CPA, CMA
PO Box 880695
Port Saint Lucie,  FL  34988
+1(973) 610-5669
   International Tax      Expatriate Tax      Foreign Bank Account Reporting
Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) and Reporting Foreign Financial Assets (Form 8938)

U.S. citizens and residents and persons doing business in the U.S. must report EACH of their foreign bank accounts and foreign financial accounts to the U.S. Treasury each year on Form TD F 90-22.1. Failure to file such form by the June 30 deadline can lead to severe penalties and even jail time.

This requirement applies to every U.S. citizen or resident (including U.S. partnerships, corporations, and LLCs) who has a financial interest in or signature authority over any account with a foreign bank or foreign financial services company. A financial interest includes a direct ownership interest in the account as well as an indirect interest through a company the person controls. Signature authority includes authority to sign for a company, including a foreign company.

Certain basic information must be provided regarding the account, including account number, name and address of the financial institution, and aggregate value of the account.

Reporting is required if the AGGREGATE value of all accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. Every account must be reported, even those with small balances.

Treasury has offered amnesty for people who failed to report. The current amnesty program offers severe penalties in addition to regular penalties if you failed to report all income, but can prevent criminal prosecution.  If you reported all income, the penalties may be limited.  If you need the amnesty program for under-reported income, YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY.

For further guidance, see the IRS Workbook on the report.
 
Form 8938
In addition, as part of his/her tax return, Americans citizens or residents must report their foreign financial assets on Form 8938.  This form is required only if total financial assets during the year or at year end exceed a threshold.  The thresholds vary by filing status and where the individual lives, as shown below.  During the year thresholds are 150% of the year end thresholds shown below.  Foreign financial assets include bank and securities accounts, stocks and bonds issued by foreign entities, and certain other types of securities.  Investments in hard assets, like realty, are not considered financial assets.
 
The thresholds for reporting are as follows:
Filing Status *
Where Living
Year End Threshold
Single
USA
$50,000
Single
Outside USA
$200,000
Married
USA
$100,000
Married
Outside USA
$400,000
 
The single thresholds above apply to taxpayers who are single, head of household, or married filing separate returns.  See instructions to  IRS Form 8938 .
It's your business:  get personal.  Call Steve Fox at  1(973) 610-5669  or  email steve @ sfoxcpa .com
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