Foreign Bank Account Report, Treasury Department Form 90-22.1 (FBAR)
Who Must File an FBAR:
Generally, every U.S. person with a financial interest in or signature or other authority over, any financial account outside of the United States, must file an FBAR if the aggregate value of all accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. An FBAR must be filed by U.S. taxpayers that have signature authority over any account, even if they have no financial interest in or are not the owner of the account. Such accounts include but are not limited to: bank, securities, pension funds, other financial accounts, any accounts with commingled funds, any accounts held by entities for which the individual is a shareholder/owner, etc.
FBAR Filing Deadline:
The FBAR must be received on or before June 30th of the year following the calendar year being reported. It is not filed with your federal tax return. June 30, 2012 falls on a Saturday this year, but there has been no official announcement that individuals will not face late filing penalties if the FBAR is not received by the deadline. Therefore it may be prudent to file so that it is received by June 29, 2012.
There are three (3) pages of instructions and information as to the specific form and instructions can be found on irs.gov and/or bsaefiling.fincen.treas.gov. It should be noted that the information provided on these sites (as well as this site) should not be construed as legal advice.
How FBAR information can be used:
The information collected by the reporting can be provided to officers and employees of any division of the Treasury Department. These records may be utilized in performance of their duties and investigations as well as referred to other federal, state or local authority upon request for use in criminal, tax, regulatory investigation or proceeding, or other investigations and matters.
Do you need an attorney for FBAR issues?
If you have never filed an FBAR but should have –> you should immediately consult with a tax attorney familiar with international tax law.
If you are concerned about how the information will be used or could be used against you –> you should immediately consult with a tax attorney familiar with international tax law and financial/white collar crime defense.
If you filed an incomplete or false FBAR –> you should immediately consult with a tax attorney who is familiar with international tax law and financial/white collar crime defense.
How to get your tax law questions answered – confidentially:
You may wish to consult with an experienced tax attorney before filing the FBAR form or any other financial document that is requested or required of you because a seemingly simple form (admittedly, financial forms are never “that” simple) have far reaching consequences that can come back to haunt you.
Moskowitz LLP, currently represents many individuals with their FBAR disclosure requirements and related civil and criminal tax implications. Please contact us for an attorney-privileged consultation addressing your specific case and we will address your legal options.
Moskowitz LLP, A Tax Law Firm, Disclaimer: Because of the generality of this blog post, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations. Prior results do not guarantee a similar income. Furthermore, in accordance with Treasury Regulation Circular 230, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this communication was not intended or written to be used , and cannot be used, for the purposes of (i) avoiding tax related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii.) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any tax related matter addressed herein.