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Old 21.08.2011, 10:59
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FBAR advice needed!

I've searched the forums but haven't found my specific situation.

I am an American citizen and I do not work or make any income, therefore, I do not need to file income taxes. My husband is an EU member and has never worked, or lived in the US. Currently, my name is not on his bank account - and I don't have any money of my own- so I have not had to file the FBAR. We want to put my name on his account and will then have to file the FBAR. But my question is, won't the IRS come after me and wonder why I have a significant amount of money in a bank account in Switzerland without filing income taxes? I just don't want to do anything wrong or have my husband's income taxed when he has nothing to do with the US.

Any knowledge on this subject would be very helpful!
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Old 21.08.2011, 11:46
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

I can't comment on the US tax situation, but I just wanted to point out that you can have signing authority on his accounts without your name actually appearing on account.

Jim.
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Old 21.08.2011, 11:49
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

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I can't comment on the US tax situation, but I just wanted to point out that you can have signing authority on his accounts without your name actually appearing on account.

Jim.
But having signing authority means it would need to be reported on the FBAR.
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Old 21.08.2011, 11:55
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

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I've searched the forums but haven't found my specific situation.

I am an American citizen and I do not work or make any income, therefore, I do not need to file income taxes. My husband is an EU member and has never worked, or lived in the US. Currently, my name is not on his bank account - and I don't have any money of my own- so I have not had to file the FBAR. We want to put my name on his account and will then have to file the FBAR. But my question is, won't the IRS come after me and wonder why I have a significant amount of money in a bank account in Switzerland without filing income taxes? I just don't want to do anything wrong or have my husband's income taxed when he has nothing to do with the US.

Any knowledge on this subject would be very helpful!
You need access to money for sure so I would get myself
authority on the account.

My wife is also EU, and we file my tax return as "Married Filing Separate".
My CPA recommended that a few years ago. That way, my wife will
not be required to file.

We also keep all of our bank accounts separate because of these
Draconian IRS laws.
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Old 21.08.2011, 12:04
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

Thanks for the responses so far. As I don't have income, I am not required to file taxes so I'd like to avoid that if possible. I tried to file this year as 'married filing separately', just to be on the safe side, but my application kept getting rejected because my husband doesn't have a social security number and anything I tried to put in that blank was not accepted. So I just gave up.
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Old 21.08.2011, 14:39
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

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Thanks for the responses so far. As I don't have income, I am not required to file taxes so I'd like to avoid that if possible. I tried to file this year as 'married filing separately', just to be on the safe side, but my application kept getting rejected because my husband doesn't have a social security number and anything I tried to put in that blank was not accepted. So I just gave up.
You would have to apply for a social security number for him in order
to do this. I would not advise this to be honest.
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Old 21.08.2011, 15:11
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

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You would have to apply for a social security number for him in order
to do this. I would not advise this to be honest.
Actually, you can just input 000 00 0000 in the SSN field on online forms, and then handwrite NRA (for non-resident alien) when you mail them in.

At least that's the advice that was given to me...
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Old 21.08.2011, 20:24
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

Thanks, that's helpful!

Can anyone answer my initial question? If I have no income ,thus do not need to file income taxes, will the IRS come after me after I fill out the FBAR reporting my husbands assets, and wonder why I have so much money when I am not working?
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Old 21.08.2011, 20:34
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

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Thanks, that's helpful!

Can anyone answer my initial question? If I have no income ,thus do not need to file income taxes, will the IRS come after me after I fill out the FBAR reporting my husbands assets, and wonder why I have so much money when I am not working?
The only people who can answer whether or not the IRS will 'come after you' is the IRS. If you have to file you have to file, if you don't they might 'come after' you, they might not, or they might not for awhile
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Old 21.08.2011, 20:44
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

you should probably ask a TAX LAWYER instead of random people on an internet expat forum who may or may not have any clue what they are talking about
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Old 21.08.2011, 21:06
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

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you should probably ask a TAX LAWYER instead of random people on an internet expat forum who may or may not have any clue what they are talking about
you may or may not know this, but I may or may not be a TAX LAWYER who may or may not know what they're talking about
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Old 21.08.2011, 21:12
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

I'd say give an anonymous call to the IRS office in Paris and ask. I've called them before and found the answers to be frank and not over the top.
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Old 21.08.2011, 21:18
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

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I'd say give an anonymous call to the IRS office in Paris and ask. I've called them before and found the answers to be frank and not over the top.
Probably best to make the call from a call box, advice from my London solicitor on another matter....
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Old 21.08.2011, 22:03
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

Avoid it all.

Have your husband transfer funds as needed, and never over the ever diminishing USD 10k.

Get a joint account, that you have no signing control over.

Get an account, where you have a legal guardian, and thus no signing control.

Lots of possibilities.

Tom
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Old 22.08.2011, 08:10
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

I'm asking random people on a forum in hopes that someone has been in this situation and knows how to deal with it. I guess I'll call the IRS and talk to our bank about different types of bank accounts
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Old 23.08.2011, 21:13
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

As far as I've been able to understand, the FBARs go to the Treasury to be filed away somewhere. Not to the same place as your tax forms. A tax audit may trigger an examination of your FBAR but not the other way around. (I'm no expert, just another worried expat who has obsessively read everything he could about the FBARS).
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Old 24.08.2011, 07:58
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

Thanks a lot!
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Old 24.08.2011, 19:40
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

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...my question is, won't the IRS come after me and wonder why I have a significant amount of money in a bank account in Switzerland without filing income taxes?
If any (adult) US citizen suddenly begins filing a tax return when they had not done so before, or files a FBAR without filing a tax return, then "yes" you should expect an inquiry (a letter, asking for an explanation or for other details). However, there is no reason to be afraid of that; your explanation offered here is quite plausible. The IRS has the obligation to prove you had income (or can't explain how you afford to live); you have the burden to show it is not taxable by the US, and "my non-US husband earns it in CH" is just fine.

However, there is some "not-so-good" news: "signature authority" and "ownership" are hard to distinguish, and all tax collectors resolve ambiguity in their favor. If you have a joint financial account with your spouse, and are permitted to file separate returns (as in the US), any tax collector may reasonably argue that half of any income the account generated is your income, and thus taxable in the US.

So, I'd second the advice proferred above: have your own account, and keep it under $10k, and you will have no issues at all. Alternatively, have signature authority only for accounts which generate little or no interest income, and file the FBAR /and/ a tax return. (It has advantages regarding the statute of limitations; there is none if you don't file.)

P.S. Any verbal advice given by IRS employees is NOT binding on the IRS, so I would disagree with the "call the IRS" suggestions above. You would do better with a search through the IRS' website.
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Old 13.11.2011, 04:59
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

tips on fbar rporting: if you opened it with cash and do not wire or send or receive wires or checks from u.s . in my opinion you don't need to report it. but if you want the option of sending or receiving funds to the account you should report it.
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Old 13.11.2011, 06:53
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Re: FBAR advice needed!

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tips on fbar rporting: if you opened it with cash and do not wire or send or receive wires or checks from u.s . in my opinion you don't need to report it. but if you want the option of sending or receiving funds to the account you should report it.
Your opinion it may be, padewan, but good advice it is not. Thanks to FATCA the US government well may learn of it anyway (though there are currently limits to their interest), and in any case you are advocating to her that she break US law.
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