June 30 is the Deadline for Your Report of Foreign Bank Accounts (FBAR)
Although many are unaware of the obligation, Americans living abroad are required to file a report of their foreign bank accounts in addition to filing their US expat taxes. These reports (commonly referred to as the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts or FBAR) are filed with the US Treasury Department and are done so with Form TD F 90-22.1.
What Americans Living Overseas Need to Know
You are required to file an FBAR in addition to your US expat taxes if your balances in foreign banks total $10,000. This means the sum of all of your foreign accounts, not just any single account with a balance higher than $10,000! So whether you have an account with a balance of USD $12,000 or three accounts with $4,000 each, if the accounts are with foreign banks, you must file Form TD F 90-22.1.
The Treasury Department can and will enforce penalties for Americans who fail to file the FBAR. Penalties are assessed based on the reason for the violation, and can involve civil penalties (such as fines) and criminal ones (including jail time). The most severe penalties are reserved for those who knowingly attempt to hide assets. In the event that you are late filing your FBAR, but none of the income was unaccounted for on your taxes, it’s unlikely that penalties will be assessed against you. In addition, reduced penalties are available for delinquent filers under certain circumstances, such as those filing for the first time or those without a history of delinquency or tax evasion.
The best way to avoid penalties, of course, is to become compliant with the regulations. That means filing your FBAR by June 30 every year.
Filing Your FBAR
The FBAR must be filed by June 30th every year and no extensions are available. While the IRS accepts returns by the date postmarked, the Treasury only accepts FBARs by the date received. The new BSA E-Filing System has made filing much less of a hassle. If you plan to mail in a hard copy, send to:
Department of the Treasury
P.O. Box 32621
Detroit, MI 48232-0621
When using an express mail service, send to:
IRS Enterprise Computing Center
ATTN: CTR Operations
Mailroom, 4th Floor
985 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
Help and Additional FBAR Information
Click here for detailed information about filing requirements, the FBAR form itself, and how to complete the FBAR in order to stay compliant with the US Treasury Department. If you have any questions about your FBAR filing requirements or need help preparing Form TD F 90-22.1, do not hesitate to contact our US expat tax experts.