FBAR – FinCen Form 114
WHAT IS AN FBAR?
The Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or FBAR, must be filed by any US citizen residing overseas who has a financial interest in or signature authority over any financial accounts with a combined balance that meets or exceeds $10,000 USD at any point in the calendar year.
FBAR refers more specifically to FinCen Form 114, the foreign bank account report filed electronically with the Financial Crime Enforcement Network’s BSA E-Filing System (not as part of your standard tax return). If the total sum of your foreign financial accounts exceeds USD $10,000 at any point in the tax year, you must file an FBAR by April 15, although this deadline is automatically extended to October 15 should you fail to file by the due date.
Do you need to file FinCen Form 114?
For example, suppose you had three accounts with New Zealand financial institutions:
- The maximum value of your checking account during the calendar year was $3,000.
- The maximum value of your savings account during the year was $4,000
- The maximum value of your retirement/superannuation account during the year was $8,000
In this case, the combined highest balance (on varying dates) was $15,000, meaning that an FBAR must be filed.
EXPERT INSIGHT MAKES FILING EASIER
Determining what is and is not a reportable foreign financial account can be tricky. We highly recommend that anybody who needs to file an FBAR obtain professional assistance. The cost of even a simple filing error can be steep, so it’s in your best financial interest to have your FinCen Form 114 professionally prepared.