So, as we all know by now, the FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank Accounts) requires US citizens to report their interest in any non-US financial account, if the combined maximum value of their non-US financial accounts exceeds $10,000 per year.

But, the term ‘financial account’ can sometimes leave people scratching their heads. It certainly is an all-encompassing term, and of course, it’s completely reasonable to be thorough and make sure no account is missed.

Well, we can define a financial account as:


Any account, which is designed for the purpose of holding funds or debt on behalf of another. The account can be used to withdraw and/or deposit against.

​So with the above, we can create a rough list of account types we should be including.



  • Current accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Term deposits
  • Investment accounts (i.e. managed funds)
  • Retirement accounts i.e. KiwiSaver
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Securities accounts
  • Travel Money Cards
  • Some insurance accounts
  • Business bank accounts (if you are a signatory on the account)
  • Trust bank accounts (if you are an owner/signatory on the account)

With the above two, it’s important to note that any account owned by a business/trust that you own, will be considered to be owned by you, and must be reported.

We must also include loan accounts such as:

  • Mortgages
  • Credit Cards
  • Loans

Whilst you cannot necessarily put savings into these types of accounts, they are nonetheless considered a form of financial account.



  • Public Transport Cards
  • Phone Account Credit
  • Any other form of business tokens/credits, regardless of whether they have a cash value