Guide to Filing an FBAR from Australia

As an American expat living in Australia, you may have financial reporting obligations in addition to filing U.S. taxes. One of these obligations you may have is filing what’s commonly known as a Foreign Bank Account Report, or an FBAR (the form you actually file is FinCEN Form 114).

Below, we'll explain the basics of what the FBAR is, which Americans in Australia need to file an FBAR, and how to file an FBAR from Australia

Ready to file? With H&R Block Expat Tax Services, you have two convenient, secure, online options to file your FBAR (FinCEN Form 114) from Australia: On your own with our DIY online expat tax service or with help from an advisor.

Who in Australia must file FinCEN Form 114 (the FBAR)?

American expat filing an fbar from Australia online with H&R Block

FinCEN Form 114 (the FBAR) is formerly called the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. It exists to help the U.S. government be sure Americans in Australia (and elsewhere in the world) are being honest about their worldwide income and assets. If you qualify, you submit it yearly.

Who in Australia must file FinCEN Form 114? You must submit FinCEN Form 114 if you’re a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder and you’ve held a combined $10,000 or more in non-U.S. accounts at any one time in the tax year.

So, if you’re a U.S. citizen and have $5,000 in an Australian checking account and another $9,000 in an Australian pension you’d file an FBAR even though each account held under $10,000.

One question we hear from our clients in Australia is “Can I file an FBAR myself?” The answer is yes, even if you live in Australia you can still file an FBAR yourself online.

You can simply add on an FBAR to your expat tax package and get it all done in one go.

How to file an FBAR and expat taxes together while in Australia

If you need to file both your U.S. taxes and your FBAR from Australia, then choose to file your FBAR and expat taxes together. These are the FBAR instructions to file with your taxes:

  1. Head over to our Ways to File page, choose to file taxes yourself or with an advisor, register online and complete your tax organizer.
    H&R Block makes it simple to file your expat taxes and FBAR together from Australia. After you choose to either file yourself or file with an advisor, you’ll be able to register an account. From there, you’ll complete your personal Tax Interview. This is where you provide information about your tax and financial situation, including information regarding your FBAR. After you have recorded all your information, you'll get a personalized checklist of documents to upload according to your specific situation.
  2. We'll assign you the right advisor for your situation (if you choose to file with an advisor)
    If you choose to file with an advisor, we will match you with one well-versed in U.S./Australian expat taxes. Your advisor will review your documents and FBAR and begin your return and Australian FBAR submission.
  3. We prepare your U.S. tax return and FBAR
    Even though you’re currently living in Australia, you can trust H&R Block Expat Tax Services for all the following:
    • Federal tax preparation and filing
    • State tax return preparation and filing
    • FBAR filing (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts)
    • Past-due FBAR and tax returns from prior years, including Streamlined Compliance filings
    • Free extension filing
    • H&R Block’s 100% Accuracy Guarantee
    • If you file with an advisor, your Australia/U.S. tax expert will prepare your return and will be available to answer any questions you may have.

  4. Pay for and review the FBAR and return.
    When your FBAR and tax return are completed, you'll see your FBAR filing cost and be asked for payment via your client portal. Know that protecting your information is important to us — we maintain the physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect the information you submit to us.
    After you pay, your H&R Block Expat Tax Advisor can walk you through your FBAR and return, answer your questions and offer relevant tax savings tips for next year.
  5. We file your return with the IRS and FBAR with FinCEN.
    Finally, we'll file your completed return with the IRS and FBAR with FinCEN. After filing, your tax return and FBAR will be stored in your secure online account, where it will be safe and easy to access, whenever you need.

Ready to get started? Head on over to our Expat Tax page to begin.

FBAR (FinCEN 114) filing requirements and due date

Regardless if you live in Australia, your FBAR due date for the calendar year you're reporting is the same as your U.S. tax filing deadline. You can always see up-to-date deadlines on our expat tax deadline page. If you're required to file an FBAR, you must file one every year.

FBAR requirements are pretty detailed, so have these documents and information handy for a smooth submission process:

  • Legal name on the foreign account(s)
  • Type of account
  • The name and address of the institution or other person with whom the account is maintained
  • The maximum value (converted to USD using the end of year exchange rate) in each account during the FBAR reporting period
  • The number and/or other designation of the account

FBAR filing cost

Filing your FBAR with H&R Block Expat Tax Services will help save you time and won’t break the bank. Starting at $49, you can file an FBAR as an add-on to your DIY tax preparation.

When you add FinCEN Form 114 to your assisted tax return, FBAR filing costs $99 and includes the same attention to detail and 100% Accuracy Guarantee as our Expat Tax Prep Services.

What if I live in Australia and I've never filed an FBAR before?

Yikes! If you live in Australia and it turns out you’ve accidentally skipped filing your FBAR in years past, don’t panic. Submitting a Foreign Bank Account Report isn’t exactly an everyday occurrence, and it’s easy to overlook if you weren’t aware of compliance laws.

If you live in Australia and were honestly unaware of your FBAR filing requirement, the time to act is now. The IRS and FinCEN have a few disclosure programs that offer amnesty to Americans who have made an honest mistake in overlooking their filing obligations, including Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures.

Streamlined compliance procedures allow Americans in Australia (and elsewhere in the world) get caught up on back taxes and delinquent FBARs with amnesty in order to avoid the large penalties that come from willfully not filing — penalties that can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars for serious offenders. All in all, it makes financial sense to be sure you’re up to date on all your reporting requirements.

If this all seems overwhelming, don’t stress — we’ve got your back. When catching up on multiple years of FBAR filings, choose to file your taxes and FBAR with an advisor, and our international tax advisors can help you decide on the best course of action for your unique situation.

Unsure how to file an FBAR from Australia or if you need to? H&R Block’s Expat Tax Services has your back.

Need help filing your FBAR or expat taxes from Australia? Don’t stress — taxes for expats in Australia are complicated, but H&R Block Expat Tax Services has your back. Get started and file your U.S. taxes and FBAR together.

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