Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Don't forget to file your FBAR by 6/30

A US person who has signature authority over any foreign financial account must file a form called an FBAR by June 30 if the value of such account is $10k at any time during the previous year.

A “foreign country” includes all geographical areas outside the United States, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories and possessions of the United States (including Guam, American Samoa, and the United States Virgin Islands).

“United States person” includes a citizen or resident of the United States, a domestic partnership, a domestic corporation, and a domestic estate or trust. the tax rules concerning disregarded entities do not apply with respect to the FBAR reporting requirement so single member LLCs are not disregarded for this purpose.

A person has signature authority over an account if such person can control the disposition of money or other property in it by delivery of a document containing his or her signature (or his or her signature and that of one or more other persons) to the bank or other person with whom the account is maintained. Other authority exists in a person who can exercise power that is comparable to signature authority over an account by direct communication to the bank or other person with whom the account is maintained, either orally or by some other means.

Failure to file an FBAR when required to do so may potentially result in civil penalties, criminal penalties or both.

FBAR forms are available:

Online via IRS.gov in PDF.

Online via Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Web site in PDF.

By calling the IRS at 800-829-3676.

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