Which Foreign Accounts do I Report on FBAR?
Which Foreign Accounts & Assets Are Reported on FBAR? When it comes to reporting foreign bank and financial accounts (and certain assets) on FBAR FinCEN form 114 it Is not necessarily intuitive. In other words, well most U.S. Persons would presume (logically of course) that accounts is pretty much limited to bank accounts – that would be incorrect. Rather, the IRS requires a myriad of different reporting of foreign assets, accounts, and investments to be included on the FBAR. With the Internal Revenue Service taking an aggressive approach to foreign accounts compliance, it is important to get it as accurate as possible.
Common Less-Known FBAR Reporting
Here are some of the common, less-known reporting requirements.
Foreign Life Insurance Policy
Foreign life insurance policies are very common in foreign countries.
Many of these types of foreign life insurance policies do not mimic their US counterpart.
Oftentimes, the life insurance policies really just a Fund investment (or multiple funds) — with a small payout at death.
Presuming there is a cash or surrender value to the policy, it would be FBAR reportable.
Foreign Pension Plans
Many of our clients have foreign pension plans throughout the world.
Whether it is an Australian superannuation, Singaporean or Malaysian Provident Fund, new Zealand Superannuation, or private pension in the UK or other country – these retirement accounts are reportable.
It does not matter whether or not the filer is receiving any distributions, or can even access the pension at this time.
Foreign Investment Accounts
The FBAR is not limited to just bank accounts.
It also includes investment accounts.
If the Investment account has several funds with in the account, then typically the individual funds are not parsed out from the main account for the FBAR – but on the tax return those funds may need to be identified separately on form 8621 and/or other forms.
If you have an ownership in a corporation or even signature authority on an accounts owned by foreign corporation (or US corporation) – you may have an FBAR reporting requirement.
Corporations (and other entities) are required to file FBAR, along with individual members or employees who have signature over various accounts.
Trusts and Estates
If a trust or estate has ownership or signature authority over foreign accounts, then that needs to be reported as well.
This is especially important when someone inherits foreign accounts and has to begin reporting as well and/or learns that the decedent had unreported accounts.
Additional Reporting of Foreign Accounts
The IRS has developed many different international information reporting forms. Depending on the type and value of the foreign accounts, other reporting forms may include:
- Form 3520 (Foreign Gift)
- Form 8621 (Passive Foreign Investment Company)
- Form 926 (Transfer of Property Overseas)
- Form 5471 (Foreign Corporation)
- Form 8865 (Foreign Partnership)
Our FBAR Lawyers Represent Clients Worldwide
Our FBAR Lawyer team specializes exclusively in international tax, and specifically IRS offshore disclosure.
We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants, and Financial Professionals across the globe. Our attorneys have worked with thousands of clients on offshore disclosure matters, including FATCA & FBAR.
Each case is led by a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist with 20 years of experience, and the entire matter (tax and legal) is handled by our team, in-house.
*Please beware of copycat tax and law firms misleading the public about their credentials and experience.
Less than 1% of Tax Attorneys Nationwide Are Certified Specialists
Sean M. Golding is one of less than 350 Attorneys (out of more than 200,000 practicing California Attorneys) to earn the Certified Tax Law Specialist credential. The credential is awarded to less than 1% of Attorneys.
Recent Case Highlights
- We represented a client in an 8-figure disclosure that spanned 7 countries.
- We represented a high-net-worth client to facilitate a complex expatriation with offshore disclosure.
- We represented an overseas family with bringing multiple businesses & personal investments into U.S. tax and offshore compliance.
- We took over a case from a small firm that unsuccessfully submitted multiple clients to IRS Offshore Disclosure.
- We successfully completed several recent disclosures for clients with assets ranging from $50,000 – $7,000,000+.
How to Hire Experienced Offshore Counsel?
Generally, experienced attorneys in this field will have the following credentials/experience:
- 20-years experience as a practicing attorney
- Extensive litigation, high-stakes audit and trial experience
- Board Certified Tax Law Specialist credential
- Master’s of Tax Law (LL.M.)
- Dually Licensed as an EA (Enrolled Agent) or CPA
Interested in Learning More about Golding & Golding?
No matter where in the world you reside, our international tax team can get you IRS offshore compliant.
Golding & Golding specializes in FBAR and FATCA. Contact our firm today for assistance with getting compliant.