Foreign Bank Account Reporting

Foreign Bank Account Reporting Requirements Update

Written By Steven Miller, CPA      February 12, 2018


The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued its annual reminder of the due date for filing FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), to report foreign financial accounts held in 2017.

FinCEN noted the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, P.L. 114-41, changed Form 114’s due date to April 15 to coincide with the due date for filing federal income tax returns.

The reminder also noted that this year’s due date is April 17, 2018. This is the same due date for individual federal income tax returns because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia.

The legislation changing the FBAR due date also provides for an automatic six-month extension for filing the form to Oct. 15, 2018. FinCEN again explained that filers did not have to do anything to take advantage of the extension and need only file the return by Oct. 15 to comply.

Taxpayers who have a Form 114 filing requirement must file electronically on FinCEN’s Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) E-Filing System website.


Failure to file a required Form 114 incurs penalties beginning at $10,000 and may subject the taxpayer to potential criminal charges. 

Many taxpayers are unaware of the many types of accounts that must be included in the report including:

·       various crypto-currencies

·       foreign life insurance

·       foreign annuities

·       direct ownership of foreign stocks or bonds

·       foreign investment accounts

One of the most commonly missed items are retirement accounts that were generated while the taxpayer was working in a foreign location and often is forgotten about.

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