Did you fill out your FBAR? Do you even know what it is?
There are many great benefits to being a U.S. citizen. Many people, especially those who reside abroad will probably tell you that one of the few drawbacks is that unlike many other countries, just because you don’t live there does not mean that you do not have to file taxes annually.
One of the forms that needs to be filed annually by U.S. citizens, even those living outside of the U.S. and may require specialist help to complete, is the FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report). Many people are unaware of their obligation to file it or put it off and can find themselves in a difficult situation when the IRS catches up with them some time in the future.
What Is the FBAR?
The FBAR is an annual information form that you are required to complete and file if you have over $10,000 (or the foreign currency equivalent) combined at any time in all your non-U.S. bank accounts, investment accounts and pension funds, including but not limited to the Israeli Keren Pensia, Kupat Gemel and Keren Hishtalmut. If you cross the $10,000 threshold, you must list all accounts, regardless of their value or where they are located.
Knowing exactly what needs to be declared requires expert knowledge. Phillip Stein and Associates, have great expertise and accumulated knowledge and know what questions to ask to make sure that you declare only what needs to be declared and do not omit anything that you are liable for.
Completing the FBAR Form
It is imperative to file this form by the deadline, since late filing of the FBAR may carry a severe penalty. If you have a straightforward FBAR filing, and would like to submit the FBAR on your own, there is a free step-by-step video explaining how to download, fill out, and submit the FBAR on our website.
Of course, some people may have more complex situations or are more comfortable asking an expert to act on their behalf. We are here to help anyone in these situations.
In addition to the regular FBAR filing, it is important to note that there is an additional filing requirement due to the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), Form 8938, for individuals falling within the higher threshold starting at $50,000. This form is an integral part of your individual tax return. Again it is important to know what needs to be declared and what does not. You could end up paying too much tax from the outset or if you do not declare everything you need to, you may be surprised with a large demand in the future.
Making sure that you accurately disclose any money you have when filing your FBAR is vital. If you believe your situation is simple, and are so inclined, , you can file it yourself, otherwise we would be happy to expertly file it for you.
For more information, please see our FAQ page here.
For professional assistance with other filings, please contact us.