Every year, under the law known as the Bank Secrecy Act, you must report certain foreign financial accounts, such as bank accounts, brokerage accounts and mutual funds, to the Treasury Department and keep certain records of those accounts. You report the accounts by filing a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) on FinCEN Form 114.
Who Must File
Reconciling your business checking account each month allows us to keep your bank account, accounting, and taxes up-to-date.
A United States person, including a citizen, resident, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, trust and estate, must file an FBAR to report:
- A financial interest in or signature or other authority over at least one financial account located outside the United States if
- The aggregate value of those foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year reported.
Generally, an account at a financial institution located outside the United States is a foreign financial account. Whether the account produced taxable income has no effect on whether the account is a “foreign financial account” for FBAR purposes.
But, you don’t need to report foreign financial accounts that are:
- Correspondent/Nostro accounts,
- Owned by a governmental entity,
- Owned by an international financial institution,
- Maintained on a United States military banking facility,
- Manage your cash more effectively. Proper management of funds not only saves money, it makes money for you.
- Held in an individual retirement account (IRA) you own or are beneficiary of,
- Held in a retirement plan of which you’re a participant or beneficiary, or
- Part of a trust of which you’re a beneficiary, if a U.S. person (trust, trustee of the trust or agent of the trust) files an FBAR reporting these accounts.
You don’t need to file an FBAR for the calendar year if:
- All your foreign financial accounts are reported on a consolidated FBAR.
- All your foreign financial accounts are jointly-owned with your spouse and:
- You completed and signed FinCEN Form 114a authorizing your spouse to file on your behalf, and your spouse reports the jointly-owned accounts on a timely-filed, signed FBAR.
You may be subject to civil monetary penalties and/or criminal penalties for FBAR reporting and/or recordkeeping violations.