19 Jun 2012 Deadline and Other Foreign Bank / Foreign Asset Reminders
All United States persons, including citizens, green card holders, and individuals considered US residents based on the duration of their stay in the United States, are required to annually report their ownership of, or signature authority over, foreign bank accounts. The form for such reporting is the FBAR (or TD F 90-22.1), which form must be filed and received by the IRS by June 30th of each year. Because June 30 is a Saturday, the 2011 FBAR should be received by the IRS by June 29, 2012. Failure to file the FBAR can carry significant monetary penalties and even criminal charges. Persons that have the obligation to file the FBAR and have missed the filing in prior years should consult their accountant or other tax professional.
Related to the FBAR filing is the filing of Form 8938 – Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets. The Form 8938 is filed with a person’s tax returns, so for most people, such form was already due in April. The Form 8938 can require reporting of some of the same information reported on the FBAR, but also includes reporting of certain other foreign assets outside of foreign financial accounts, including stock and other interests in foreign corporations and other foreign entities. If you believe you may have had an obligation to file the Form 8938 but did not file such form, please contact your accountant or other tax professional.
With the pending implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) withholding regime and the various information exchange agreements being negotiated by the United States government, it is clear that the government has increased scrutiny and focus on foreign accounts and asset reporting. To avoid monetary and criminal exposure, United States persons should be diligent in their reporting of foreign accounts and assets.
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