FBAR Filing | Who Needs to File?

FBAR filing is an important topic for any US person with financial accounts outside of the United States. This is true whether the US person lives in the United States or abroad.

In this article, weโ€™ll be sharing the specific thresholds that require an FBAR filing, which is an annual reporting obligation involving FinCEN Form 114 to the Treasury Department. We will also be answering common questions that we receive from our members about filing.

This article is part of our free series on foreign bank accounts for US citizens, which covers reporting requirements for individuals, financial institutions, and more.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. FBAR Filing
  2. FBAR Reporting Requirements
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

FBAR Filing

FBAR filing involves submitting FinCEN Form 114 which is the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. The FBAR form needs to be completed by any US person who has a financial interest in or signing authority over financial accounts that meet the FBAR filing threshold.ย 

Importantly, the filing threshold for FBAR filing is based on the aggregate value of all qualifying bank accounts and financial accounts held outside of the United States. And, the specific value that triggers FBAR filing is an aggregate value of USD 10,000 held in all accounts at any point during the calendar year.

Fortunately, FBAR online filing is available through the e-filing system of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which is a bureau of the United States Department of Treasury.

In the next section, we will take a closer look at the FBAR reporting requirements. However, if youโ€™re looking to confirm who is required to complete FBAR filing, you should review the FBAR instructions available from FinCEN directly.

FBAR Reporting Requirements

As we have detailed in past articles, US persons (or entities) need to comply with FBAR reporting requirements if they have qualifying bank and financial accounts that meet the FBAR reporting thresholds.

Qualifying bank and financial accounts include accounts where the reporting party has a financial interest or signing authority over accounts with an aggregate value of USD 10,000 (or more) at any time during the calendar year.

Importantly, FBAR reporting is a unique requirement that is in addition to any other reporting obligations of US citizens like those related to owning foreign corporations or foreign disregarded entities.

How to Report Your Foreign Financial Account

To report your foreign financial account, you need to submit FinCEN Form 114, which is available directly from the BSA e-filing system, which is managed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people looking into FBAR Filing. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, donโ€™t hesitate to get in touch.

What Is the FBAR?

The FBAR is a reporting requirement for US persons and US entities that have an interest or signing authority over financial accounts held outside of the United States. While having an account does not automatically trigger a reporting obligation, if, at any point during the calendar year, the aggregate value of the financial accounts reaches USD 10,000, then the accounts must be reported.

Who Is Exempt From FBAR?

A person is exempt from FBAR filing in most cases if the aggregate value of their foreign bank and financial accounts does not exceed USD 10,000 at any time during the calendar year.

Can You File FBAR On Your Own?

Yes, you can file an FBAR on your own through the BSA e-filing system, managed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Networkโ€™s (FinCEN) website. This requires the reporting party to complete FinCEN Form 114, which can be completed as an individual online.

What Happens If I Donโ€™t File an FBAR?

If you willfully fail to file an FBAR, you could be convicted of a felony.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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