With fear of sounding like a broken record, we are coming up again on that ever-important time of the year where we want to remind our US readers of their reporting responsibilities if they had foreign financial accounts with an aggregate value of $10K at any time during the 2015 calendar year.
If you did, the reporting deadline for filing of the FBAR is June 30th, 2016.
A “Foreign Financial Account” can be a foreign bank account, trust account, insurance policy, etc. where you had a financial or beneficial interest in, or signature authority over, and the aggregate balance of all your accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the year.
These accounts need to be reported yearly to the Department of Treasury by now electronically filing a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Report 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). And this needs to be submitted electronically by June 30th.
It is important to remember that it is NOT possible to obtain an extension for the FBAR. In other words, for this year you are obliged to file the FBAR form by no later than June 30th. As of next year, it is our understanding that the FBAR will be due in April at the same time as the income tax filing returns, and it appears as if you will be able to request an extension then.
You can refer to our “Clarification on FBAR Filing Date Changes” which we published last year in our Mountain Vision.
Just a few FBAR tips:
- When preparing your FBAR form, it is important to complete it correctly and consistently. In the past, we have received copies of FBARs from clients for various reasons and have seen how the accounts, although reported in the form, contained incorrect information. Most notable amongst the errors made were in the names and addresses of the financial institutions, or in the account or policy numbers used to identify the financial account.
If you have any investments through us at BFI, feel free to contact us should you need assistance in identifying the correct information for your FBAR reporting.
- Print a copy of the FBAR in the last stage of the online completion, and keep it in your files. Once filed, we have heard it is near impossible to get copies of past submissions.
- You can start the process by clicking on the BSA E-Filing System.
- Please be sure to not forget about the filing of the Form 8938, a similar form that needs to be supplied to the IRS. If you are unfamiliar with the form 8938, or need more information on how it compares to the FBAR, go to the Comparison of Form 8938 and FBAR Requirements.
We really hope that this reminder is helpful. And, as a reminder, we are not US tax advisors or accounting experts; for ultimate advice on the completion and filing of your forms, we recommend you check with your local tax person or accountant.
The 2015 FBAR filing deadline approacheth. If you haven’t started already, be sure to take the time to get it done now.
Sincerely, Bernarda Pesantez-----