How are Jointly Held Accounts Reported on FBAR?

How are Jointly Held Accounts Reported on FBAR?

How are Jointly Held Accounts Reported on FBAR?

When a foreign bank or financial account is being held jointly, by two or more persons, US persons are required to report the joint account on the FBAR (FinCEN Form 114). This is true, even if the account was open before the person became a US person — and even if the other joint account holder(s) are not US persons. In a common situation,  a US person may have a foreign spouse, parent, or another relative that resides overseas and has foreign accounts in which the US person is identified as a joint account holder. When it comes to reporting for FBAR purposes, jointly held accounts are required to be disclosed.  There is an exception when the joint account holders are spouses owning the account together — but the exception is very narrow and limited. Let’s look at what the Internal Revenue Service says about reporting jointly held accounts.

As provided by the IRS:

Reporting Jointly Held Accounts

    • If two persons jointly maintain a foreign financial account, or if several persons each own a partial interest in an account, then each U.S. person has a financial interest in that account and each person must report the entire value of the account on an FBAR. A limited exception is available to spouses.

    • The spouse of an individual who files an FBAR doesn’t need to file a separate FBAR if the following conditions are met:

        • All financial accounts the nonfiling spouse must report are jointly owned with the filing spouse;

        • The filing spouse reports the jointly owned accounts on a timely filed FBAR electronically signed (PIN) in item 44, and;

        • Both spouses have completed and signed Form 114a, Record of Authorization to Electronically File FBARs (maintained with the filer’s records).

        • Otherwise, both spouses must file separate FBARs and each spouse must report the entire value of the jointly owned accounts.

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