This is Jean Wetzler.
I'm talking with Beth Elfrey about the new FBAR form.
Beth, I know you want to talk about the new form today, but can we start with a quick reminder about what the FBAR is, who should file it, and when it's due?
We're talking about the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account form.
The financial industry commonly refers to it as the FBAR.
If you are an individual or a business in, or doing business in, the United States and you have financial accounts in foreign countries, you have to file the FBAR if the value of those accounts totals more than $10,000 at any time in the calendar year.
It's due to the IRS by June 30th of the year following the year your foreign accounts meet the $10,000 threshold.
Unlike tax returns, there is no extension to that due date.
Now, tell us about the new form.
The revised FBAR has a more efficient design and the instructions are clearer, so it should take filers less time to complete the form.
It includes more detail than the old form, which will help filers meet both their FBAR filing requirements and recordkeeping requirements.
Another convenient feature is that filers can now report all their foreign accounts on one FBAR, instead of having to file a different form for each account.
The new form and instructions are tailored to specific situations.
There are sections for jointly owned accounts, accounts where a holder has only signature authority, and financial accounts where a corporate filer is filing a consolidated report.
Finally, the instructions now explain how to file an amended FBAR.
When should filers start using the revised form?
Anyone filing an FBAR after December 31, 2021 should use the new form.
Also, I would like to remind everyone that they should not file the FBAR with their income tax return.
They should mail it to the address on the FBAR form.
Are there any ramifications for failure to file the FBAR?
The FBAR is an important tool in helping the government combat a host of illegal activities, such as tax evasion, money laundering and other criminal activities.
There are both civil and criminal penalties for FBAR noncompliance.
These range from civil penalties of up to $100,000 or 50% of the amount in the foreign account at the time of noncompliance, and criminal penalties of up to five years in prison and/or fines.
Where can our viewers find out more information about the FBAR?
Publication 4261, "Do You Have a Foreign Bank Account?" has more information.
It is on IRS.gov in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Korean.
You can also type the letters "BSA" in the search box on IRS.gov.
That stands for Bank Secrecy Act.
You'll find information about the FBAR, a link to the form, and BSA forms, such as Suspicious Activity Reports and the Form 8300 cash payments report.
Anyone with a question about the FBAR can send e-mail to FBARquestions@irs.gov.
This e-mail address is only for questions, though.
Account holders cannot file their FBAR forms through the mailbox.
Thank you, Beth.
I've been talking with Beth Elfrey of the IRS.
This is Jean Wetzler.
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