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June 29, 2014

Foreign Bank and Financial Account Forms Must Be Filed On Line by 6/30/14

Who Must File an FBAR by 6/30/14

United States persons are required to file an FBAR if:
  1. The United States person had a financial interest in or signature authority over at least one financial account located outside of the United States; and
  2. The aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts (this includes banks, stock brokerage accounts, cash surrender value of foreign life insurance, foreign pension plans in most situations) exceeded $10,000 US dollars at any time during the 2013 calendar year to be reported.
United States person includes U.S. citizens; U.S. residents; entities, including but not limited to, corporations, partnerships, or limited liability companies, created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States; and trusts or estates formed under the laws of the United States.

Exceptions to the Reporting Requirement

Exceptions to the FBAR reporting requirements can be found in the FBAR instructions. There are filing exceptions for the following United States persons or foreign financial accounts:
  • Certain foreign financial accounts jointly owned by spouses;
  • United States persons included in a consolidated FBAR;
  • Correspondent/nostro accounts;
  • Foreign financial accounts owned by a governmental entity;
  • Foreign financial accounts owned by an international financial institution;
  • IRA owners and beneficiaries;
  • Participants in and beneficiaries of tax-qualified retirement plans;
  • Certain individuals with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, a foreign financial account;
  • Trust beneficiaries (but only if a U.S. person reports the account on an FBAR filed on behalf of the trust); and
  • Foreign financial accounts maintained on a United States military banking facility.
Review the FBAR instructions for more information on the reporting requirement and on the exceptions to the reporting requirement.

Reporting and Filing Information

A person who holds a foreign financial account may have a reporting obligation even though the account produces no taxable income. The reporting obligation is met by answering questions on a tax return about foreign accounts (for example, the questions about foreign accounts on Form 1040 Schedule B) and by filing an FBAR.
The FBAR is a calendar year report and must be filed on or before June 30, 2014 for the calendar year 2013 foreign bank and financial account balances. Effective July 1, 2013, the FBAR must be filed electronically through FinCEN’s  BSA E-Filing System. The FBAR is not filed with a federal tax return. A filing extension, granted by the IRS to file an income tax return, does not extend the time to file an FBAR. There is no provision to request an extension of time to file an FBAR.
A person required to file an FBAR who fails to properly file a complete and correct FBAR may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per violation for nonwillful violations that are not due to reasonable cause. For willful violations, the penalty may be the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the balance in the account at the time of the violation, for each violation.  For guidance when circumstances such as natural disasters prevent the timely filing of an FBAR, see FinCEN guidance,FIN-2013-G002 (June 24, 2013).

U.S. Taxpayers Holding Foreign Financial Assets May Also Need to File Form 8938

Taxpayers with specified foreign financial assets that exceed certain thresholds must report those assets to the IRS on Form 8938Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, which is filed with an income tax return. The new Form 8938 filing requirement is in addition to the FBAR filing requirement. A chart providing a comparison of Form 8938 and FBAR requirements may be accessed on the IRS Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act web page.

June 20, 2014


The information on the program changes are:
  • IR-2014-73, June 18, 2014 is read here; announces the changes.
  • OVDP 2012 (as changed 6/18/14), read here.
  • Streamline Filing Compliance Process (as changed 6/18/14), read here.  This is the description.  There are two types of Streamline filings:  Non-resident and Resident.  The Nonresident program -- referred to as Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures -- is described on a web page titled: U.S. Taxpayers Residing Outside the United States, read here. The Resident program -- referred to as Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures -- is described on a web page titled U.S. Taxpayers Residing in the United States, read here.
  • Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures (as changed 6/18/14), read here
  • Delinquent International Information Return Submission Procedures (as changed 6/18/14), read here. (This relates to the Forms required for entities, such as CFC's, trusts,etc.)
  • IRS OVDP 2014 FAQs, read here.  Pay attention particularly par. 1.1 on the changes from the original OVDP 2012.
  • Transition Rules FAQs, read here.
  • Bank and Promoter List, read  here.  This list is the basis for the 50% penalty in OVDP 2014 (See FAQ 7.2 in the OVDP 2014 FAQs, read here.)   
The new procedures are as follows:

1. Foreign residents (requiring only foreign residence in the 3 year period):  File 3 years of delinquent or amended returns and pay tax and interest.  No penalties (including FBAR or miscellaneous) will be assessed.  Must also complete and sign a statement on the Certification by U.S. Person Residing Outside of the U.S. certifying (i) eligibility for the procedure, (ii) filing of all required FBARs, and (iii) that the failure to file tax returns, report all income, pay all tax, and submit all required information returns, including FBARs, resulted from non-willful conduct.

2.  Nonforeign residents (Domestic residents):  Must file 3 years of returns and pay tax and interest.  No penalties other than a 5% miscellaneous penalty on foreign financial accounts only will be assessed.  Must complete and Sign the Certification by U.S. Person Residing in the U.S. that (i) eligibility is met; (ii) all FBARs have been filed; (iii) "the failure to report all income, pay all tax, and submit all required information returns, including FBARs, resulted from non-willful conduct;" and (iv) that the miscellaneous penalty amount is accurate.

Nonwillful conduct for the purposes of #1 and #2 is:  "conduct that is due to negligence, inadvertence, or mistake or conduct that is the result of a good faith misunderstanding of the requirements of the law; 

The taxpayers can be audited under the income tax audit guidelines but will not be automatically audited.

A couple of the material changes to OVDP 2012 are described in par. 1.1 of the FAQs as follows:
A 50% offshore penalty applies if either a foreign financial institution at which the taxpayer has or had an account or a facilitator who helped the taxpayer establish or maintain an offshore arrangement has been publicly identified as being under investigation or as cooperating with a government investigation. See FAQ 7.2.
• FAQ 7 has been modified to require that the offshore penalty be paid in full at the time of the OVDP submission.

June 19, 2014

June 18, 2014

New Easier IRS Disclosure Rules for Expats and those Living in USA

Read new rules at this link:

June 12, 2014

Bitcoin Accounts May Now Need to be Reported on FBAR (114) Regardless of Prior IRS Statement!

Read more below. To be safe due to uncertainties list your account!

On Line Poker Accounts Abroad Must Be Reported on Fbar ( form 114) by 6-30-14

Read more below. No extension of 6-30-14 Deadline for 2013 form 114 can be granted. Penalty for not filing is $10,000 or more!

June 11, 2014


IR 2014-72

In a news release, IRS has announced the adoption of a "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" to help taxpayers better understand their rights.
Background. In the past, Congress passed multiple pieces of legislation with the title "Taxpayer Bill of Rights." But National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson discovered that most taxpayers were unaware that "they have rights before the IRS."
New rights. After getting input from Ms. Olson, and because existing rights are scattered throughout the Code making it difficult for taxpayers to understand, IRS has announced the new Taxpayer Bill of Rights. It takes the multiple existing rights embedded in the Code and groups them into these 10 broad categories, making them more visible and easier for taxpayers to find on IRS's website:
1. The right to be informed.
2. The right to quality service.
3. The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax.
4. The right to challenge IRS's position and be heard.
5. The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum.
6. The right to finality.
7. The right to privacy.
8. The right to confidentiality.
9. The right to retain representation.
10. The right to a fair and just tax system.
The rights have been incorporated into a redesigned version of Publication 1, a document that is routinely included in IRS correspondence with taxpayers. The new version has been added to IRS says print copies will start being included in IRS correspondence in the near future.

June 6, 2014


Virtual currency  (such as bitcoin) isn't subject to FBAR reporting... for now. During a recent IRS webinar titled "Reporting of Foreign Financial Accounts on the Electronic FBAR," Rod Lundquist, Senior Program Analyst in IRS's Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE) division, stated that for purposes of the current filing season (i.e., for 2013 FBARs due later this month), taxpayers aren't required to report Bitcoin on an FBAR. However, he cautioned that IRS is continuing to analyze virtual currency and that this policy could very well change going forward.

June 3, 2014

Tool to Check If Your Foreign Bank is Registered to Report Your Bank Account To IRS

Click link below to find out:

77,000 Foreign Banks to Share Tax Info with IRS

From USA TODAY 77,000 foreign banks to share tax info with U.S. WASHINGTON — More than 77,000 foreign banks have agreed to share information about U.S. account holders as part of a crackdown on offshore tax evasion, the Treasury Department said Monday. The list includes 515 Russian financial institutions. Russian banks had to apply directly to the tax-collecting Internal Revenue Service because the U.S. broke off negotiations with Russia over an information-sharing agreement after Russia's actions in Ukraine. Nearly 70 countries have agreed to share information from their banks as part of a U.S. law that targets Americans hiding assets overseas. Participating countries include all the world's financial giants, as well as many places where Americans have traditionally hid assets, including Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. Get USA TODAY on your mobile device: