FBAR & FATCA Information
Understanding required disclosures and filings related to financial assets held outside the U.S. is imperative to ensuring you’ll be ready to fill out forms the right way and remain compliant with the IRS. We can help.
Visit the Virtual Expat Tax Preparation page for more instructions and to get started filling out your FBAR and other forms, or find an office near you to talk with a tax advisor if you're in a country with an H&R Block tax office.
FBAR Filing Requirements and FinCEN Form 114
By law, you must file FinCEN Form 114 (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or "FBAR") if both of the following are true:
- You're a U.S. citizen or resident taxpayer or domestic business entity
- You own, control, or have signature authority over foreign bank and financial accounts with a combined value over $10,000
FBAR Filing Deadline
The FBAR is filed separately from your tax return and does not go to the IRS. Your FBAR is filed online through the BSA E-Filing System. The deadline for the FBAR is April 15 to coincide with Tax Day, but an automatic six-month extension to October 15 is available if your FBAR is filed after the initial tax deadline.
Who Should File an FBAR?
You're probably required to file an FBAR if you're:
- A U.S. citizen or green card holder living abroad
- Using personal or business foreign accounts for everyday activities
The reporting requirement covers many types of foreign accounts maintained outside of the United States, including:
- Bank accounts
- Securities accounts
- Certain foreign retirement arrangements
The FBAR filing requirement isn’t new, but expats often overlook it. Recent international enforcement efforts have raised awareness of the requirement.
Don't worry. Your FBAR is only an informational document. No additional tax will be added. However, penalties can be levied if you don’t file or file late. It’s important to work with an expat tax advisor who understands your obligations.
FATCA Filing Requirements and Form 8938
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a part of the government’s efforts to combat offshore tax evasion. American expats of all income levels with foreign accounts and assets should know about it. FATCA requirements impact U.S taxpayers and overseas financial institutions:
- U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts and assets may need to file Form 8938: Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets with their annual U.S. Income Tax Return
- Foreign financial institutions must disclose information about U.S. citizens who hold accounts overseas
Form 8938 is the same as an FBAR in many ways. However, it has lower reporting thresholds and requires you to disclose certain "non-account" assets such as:
- Business and trust ownership
- Certain contractual investments with foreign parties
FATCA Due Dates
As Form 8938 is filed with your U.S. income tax return, due dates applicable to Form 1040 apply. Automatic extensions for expats living abroad or additional extensions to October 15 can provide more time to collect needed information from foreign financial institutions and determine your filing requirements.
Form 8938 Filing Thresholds
Filing thresholds differ depending on where you lived during the tax year.
If you live within the U.S. the entire tax year, you must file Form 8938 if the value of your reportable foreign assets exceeds either of these levels:
- More than $50,000 (or $100,000 if married filing jointly) at the end of the year, or
- More than $75,000 (or $150,000 if married filing jointly) at any time in the year
Expats living abroad have an increased reporting threshold. You don’t need to complete this form unless your foreign assets exceed either:
- $200,000 (or $400,000 if married filing jointly) at the end of the year, or
- $300,000 (or $600,000 if married filing jointly) at any time during the year
Financial Institution Reporting
Many foreign financial institutions must report their U.S. citizen and resident clients’ accounts worth more than $50,000. If you’re an expat who hasn’t been filing returns and FBARs, this could affect you.
Example: The foreign banks you use might be required to obtain additional information about you. They would report this information to the U.S. government. The IRS can then determine if you’re not in compliance before you report yourself. In that case, many preferential disclosure options will be unavailable to you. You might face additional tax, penalties, and interest.