Recently the FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) and FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) filing requirements have generated quite a bit of controversy, as they pertain to the recent IRS crackdown on financial assets in overseas accounts. FATCA in particular has caused some uproar since going into effect in March 2010, as foreign financial institutions now have to report on American clients' accounts, causing some banks to turn away new US citizen clients or closing accounts currently held by US Citizens, to avoid the high cost of compliance.
With FBAR (also referred to as Form 114 and Form 90-22.1), if you have $10,000 or more at any point during the year in foreign financial accounts then you are required to file this annual disclosure. This requirement not only affects American expats, but also US permanent residents (ie. green-card holders) if they meet the $10,000 threshold. This form is filed separately from the US Federal Tax Return, and the deadline is June 30th (a date which they adhere to very strictly, unlike the normal US expat tax return which allows one to file for an extension). It is a surprise to many US citizens to know that the FBAR requirement dates back to the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, though it's enforcement is more recent with the new FATCA regulations.
What makes these filing requirements particularly confusing is that you may be required to file both, or one or the other. At Bright!Tax we have knowledgeable American CPAs to help you evaluate your filling requirements, and get your returns filed on time.
With clients in over 150 countries worldwide, Bright!Tax is the go-to cloud based US income tax preparation firm most sought after by the 7 million Americans who are living abroad. US expat tax. All CPAs. Fanatical support. Secure. Precise. Guaranteed. www.brighttax.com