FBAR FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Have Unreported Foreign Bank and/or Financial Accounts?

If you have unreported foreign/domestic income and assets/accounts for prior years, then your prior year tax returns are inaccurate. You will need to get into compliance through an approved IRS program and you cannot just quietly disclose (aka just start reporting the income/assets from this year forward).  

Have Your Offshore Accounts Been Reported on the FBAR (FinCEN Form 114)?

If you have unreported foreign accounts, you must assess the value of the accounts, the amount of unreported income, and whether foreign taxes have been withheld. Accounts includes bank accounts, investment accounts, pension accounts, mutual funds, insurance policies, etc. If there is no unreported foreign income, you may qualify for one of the delinquency procedures and avoid penalties. Otherwise, you may have to submit to one of the approved IRS programs. 

Do You File Taxes By Yourself, or Do You Use an Accountant?

If the IRS has not contacted you, you may still apply for amnesty/voluntary disclosure. There are certain deadlines you must be aware of. And, it is important to note the IRS can terminate these programs (or increase the penalty) at any time. Unfortunately, time is of the essence, due to increased enforcement by the IRS.

Has the IRS or Other Government Agency Contacted You?

If the IRS has not contacted you, you may still apply for amnesty/voluntary disclosure. There are certain deadlines you must be aware of. And, it is important to note the IRS can terminate these programs (or increase the penalty) at any time. Unfortunately, time is of the essence, due to increased enforcement by the IRS.