If you own or have signature authority over $10,000.00 in any foreign bank accounts (this includes checking or savings accounts, mutual funds, brokerage accounts, unit trusts, and/or any other types of foreign financial assets), you may be required to report the account yearly to the United States Department of Treasury. Under the Bank Secrecy Act, each United States person must file a Foreign Bank Accounts Report (FBAR), or FinCEN Form 114 if the combined total of your foreign financial accounts is at least $10,000.00 or reaches this threshold at any point during the calendar year.
Filing FBAR (FinCEN Form 114) is a requirement for all US Citizens with foreign bank accounts, and failure to file this form may result in civil and punitive penalties, financial fees and/or criminal prosecution.
This applies to:
- Citizens or residents of the United States,
- Domestic partnerships,
- Domestic corporations,
- Domestic estates or trusts.
The United States government, in response to FATCA guidelines that have been developing over the course of many years, has either entered or are in the final stages of finalizing information sharing agreements with over 100 different foreign countries.