Starting for calendar years 2016 and beyond, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Forms 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (also known as FBARs), are due April 15. However, for 2015, the due date remains June 30, 2016.
Every US person, including individuals, entities, and trusts, that has a financial interest in or signatory authority over foreign financial accounts that had an aggregate balance which exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year must file an FBAR. A person is generally considered to have a financial interest in a foreign financial account if the person is the holder of legal title or owns, directly or indirectly, more than 50 percent of an entity that holds legal title to the financial account.
A person is considered to have signatory authority over a bank account if the person has the authority to control the disposition of assets within the financial account by direct communication to the financial institution. Signatory authority often arises in the context of an officer with respect to a financial account owned by a corporation.
Penalties for failure to file FBARs are sizable. Nonwillful failures will result in a $10,000 penalty per year. Willful failures result in a penalty equal to the greater of $100,000 or 50 percent of the account balance per year. However, no penalties will be imposed if the failure to file is due to reasonable cause.
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The information provided here is of a general nature and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any individual or entity. In specific circumstances, the services of a professional should be sought. Tax information, if any, contained in this communication was not intended or written to be used by any person for the purpose of avoiding penalties, nor should such information be construed as an opinion upon which any person may rely. The intended recipients of this communication and any attachments are not subject to any limitation on the disclosure of the tax treatment or tax structure of any transaction or matter that is the subject of this communication and any attachments.