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Old 30.04.2011, 11:30
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Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

I spotted an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning that reminded me that it's that time of year again -- time for US citizens to file the dreaded FBAR forms to report your foreign bank accounts.

Quote:
Sacre Bleu! The Foreign-Account Penalty

Tax season may be over, but FBAR season is here.

That ugly, universally used acronym stands for "Foreign Bank Account Report." It refers to an odd but crucial June filing for U.S. taxpayers with one or more "foreign financial" accounts, which can include not only bank accounts but overseas life-insurance policies and nonbank accounts. Nonfilers ignore this form at their peril. [...]
And just as a reminder for those of you who haven't already seen it, here's the best guide available to US tax requirements for those of us living overseas:

FAQ: Expat's Guide to US Tax

Now I just need to decide whether to finish my taxes today, or go outside and enjoy the beautiful sunny weather?!?
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Old 30.04.2011, 11:34
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

Done.

Now trying to reduce my tax bill...somehow
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Old 30.04.2011, 12:10
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

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Now trying to reduce my tax bill...somehow
Easiest way is to earn less money.

No need to thank me for this piece of helpful advice.
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Old 20.05.2011, 11:25
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

Mailed the completed 1040 and FBAR forms this morning. U.S. taxes, etc. sorted for another year.

Of course I just received a tax bill from the Kanton for 2009. The fun never ends.
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Old 20.05.2011, 14:12
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

Received this helpful reminder from our tax service this morning. Doesn't affect me, but might affect some on here.

Quote:
In late March 2011, the US Treasury issued a new form and instructions for reporting foreign bank and financial accounts, including signature authority over foreign accounts--Form TD F 90-22.1 ("FBAR"). Filing this form is required if the aggregate value of all your foreign bank and other foreign financial accounts, including those over which you have only signature authority but no financial interest, exceeds US$10,000 at any time during the calendar year. There are certain exceptions for signature authority, but those exceptions have changed, dramatically in some cases, and may require you to report the signature authority, even if you have not been required to do so in prior years because your employer reported on your behalf.

For example, if you are employed outside the US by a foreign subsidiary of a US company, in prior years your signature authority over the foreign accounts of the subsidiary may have been reported by the US parent company. Now, you will be responsible for reporting the signature authority on your FBAR due 30 June 2011.

The new form and instructions can be found here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f90221.pdf
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Old 23.05.2011, 17:58
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

File those FBARs!

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/May/11-tax-665.html

"A Hillsdale, N.J., woman was sentenced today to probation after admitting she filed a false tax return and concealed more than $750,000 in a Swiss bank account, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General John A. DiCicco of the Justice Department’s Tax Division announced."

Last edited by oakley3; 23.05.2011 at 18:09.
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Old 23.05.2011, 18:50
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

As a condition of her guilty plea, Jackson has agreed to pay an FBAR penalty of $379,688.
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Old 23.05.2011, 20:09
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

This sort of thing doesn't bother me so much. This woman wilfully filed a fraudulent tax return and tried to conceal $750k in an offshore account. She got caught and, quite rightly, had the book thrown at her.

It's the other end of the spectrum that bothers me. Suppose, like me, you've lived abroad for a number of years and have accounts in multiple countries. These may or may not be active accounts; they may only have a few hundred dollars in them, and they may not attract any interest so there's no real reason to declare them on your tax return. You might even forget you have them, if you don't receive interest statements regularly.

In theory, if you omit one of these accounts on your FBAR (assuming your aggregate is over $10k, of course), and the Treasury Department finds out about it, they can slap you with a $10k fine. Even if you've paid every penny of tax that you owe the US government. The punishment doesn't fit the crime.

Now, in practice, the Treasury Dept doesn't enforce the law in these sorts of cases as it would generate too much bad publicity. But they could if they wanted to, and that's why I hate this stupid filing requirement.

FBAR? No, F-UP.
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Old 23.05.2011, 20:13
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Yes, it doesn't bother me either. I'm also curious if there are relevant cases with US citizens who are non-US residents who don't work for US firms - that would be an indication of enforcement.

FBARF
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Old 31.05.2011, 14:30
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

Don't forget, time is ticking by. Forms need to be received by the 30th of June in the US (not postmarked, but received).

More info
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Old 05.06.2011, 11:14
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

possible to file the fbar electronically?
thought i saw this once, but can't find it. if not, i'll send it dhl. dhl requires a phone number at the destination, and the fbar form only shows an 800 number - which i imagine is unacceptable. i called the 800 number, answering machine.
thanks,
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Old 05.06.2011, 12:30
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

You have to file it the old fashioned way - via snail mail. I think I sent it via Swiss Post, about 2 weeks in advance, with verification of receipt. (last year... I'll send it soon this year.....)
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Old 05.06.2011, 12:40
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

Quote:
"Filing this form is required if the aggregate value of all your foreign bank and other foreign financial accounts, including those over which you have only signature authority but no financial interest, exceeds US$10,000"
And this is why I am not motivated to save or invest. By spending my money faster than I can make it, I have no reporting requirement. Woo hoo!
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Old 05.06.2011, 13:25
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

If you're going to send it by courier, here's your address:

IRS Enterprise Computing Center
ATTN: CTR Operations Mailroom, 4th Floor
985 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48226 U.S.A.
Telephone: [+1] (313) 234-1062

I also found a helpful brochure from the US Embassy in the UK, but it is valid for all of us living overseas. That's where I took this address from.
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Old 05.06.2011, 16:40
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

I'm filling out my FBAR now and I'm finding it even more absurd than usual. Because of my move, I shifted money from my Swiss accounts to the UK. So it looks like I've got a ton of bank accounts. In reality, it was the same chunk of money being moved from savings to current to another country and split apart to savings and current.

Absurd, absurd, absurd requirement for those of us living outside of the US (who are presumably not hiding money overseas, we're just living here)
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Old 05.06.2011, 16:52
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

How do I report the Swiss employer administered Pension for my husband? How do I report the value as an account? Is that the value if he was to leave the company? thank you
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Old 21.06.2011, 10:20
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Re: Reminder: Time to file your FBAR!

Don't forget! FBAR forms have to be received in the US by the 30th of June!
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