Individuals and organizations with a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, in which the aggregate value of the accounts exceeded $10,000 at any point in 2014, may need to file FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). The deadline for reporting foreign financial accounts, which include bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds, trusts or other types of foreign financial accounts, is June 30, 2015.
Over the past several years the U.S. government and the Internal Revenue Service have been devoting significant resources to ensure U.S. taxpayers properly report offshore accounts. Currently, more than 100 countries have entered into bilateral agreements or reached agreements in substance with the United States to report account information for those owned by U.S. holders to the United States. Countries with such agreements include, but are not limited to, Switzerland, Israel, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the Cayman Islands and South Africa.
Filing FBAR is critical as failure to do so can result in significant monetary and criminal penalties. These filings are required by the Bank Secrecy Act, and are separate from, and in addition to, any requirements to report foreign financial or other assets with your federal income tax return.
FinCEN Report 114 is only available through the BSA E-Filing System website. The report can be filed on your behalf by your accountant or attorney.