FBAR Changes for 2014

There have been some changes made by by FINCEN (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) for the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for 2014. While overall these are minor, they will impact everyone who files an FBAR.

First, Form TD F 90-22.1 is no more. The FBAR has a new form number, Form 114.

Second, as of last July the FBAR must be electronically filed. The good news is that as of last October, your tax accountant can file the form for you as long as you complete Form 114a.

Third, as of January 1st, you don’t have to register to efile an FBAR. You can now just go the BSA efile website, follow the instructions and file the form. Do note that past experience is that the BSA efile website works well in Internet Explorer but might not work in Firefox or Chrome.

And most importantly, the definition of who must file has changed slightly. The new rule effective November 23, 2013, states:

United States persons are required to file an FBAR if:

The United States person had a financial interest in or signature authority over at least one financial account located outside of the United States; and
The aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year to be reported. [emphasis added]

It used to be that the rule was take the maximum value of each account, sum the maximums, and compare the sum to $10,000. Now, the rule (except for dollar amounts) matches that of FATCA (except for dollar amounts) in that it looks at your value in an account on one day.

Some things haven’t changed, though. The FBAR is due on June 30th and there are no extensions. If you have a foreign financial account you must check a box at the bottom of Schedule B even if you don’t need to file the FBAR. There’s a second box you must check if you need to file an FBAR, and you have to list the countries you have foreign accounts in (if you must file an FBAR) on your tax return. Thus, if you do need to file the FBAR, get your information together as your tax professional will need it in order to file your return.

42 Responses to “FBAR Changes for 2014”

  1. […] Fox, FBAR Changes for 2014 First, Form TD F 90-22.1 is no more. The FBAR has a new form number, Form […]

  2. R Deschene says:

    I don’t quite understand the sentence: Now, the rule (except for dollar amounts) matches that of FATCA (except for dollar amounts) in that it looks at your value in an account on one day.

    For example if the maximum balance in the chequing account is $1500 would the $1500 be compared to $10,000 as a reporting threshold and would NOT have to be reported ? Then if the person has a brokerage account with a maximum balance of $15,000 the brokerage account would be reportable because it WOULD have to be reported because it’s above the $10,000 ?

    • Russ says:

      The new rule is to look at the aggregate balance on a day. If that balance reaches $10,000 on any day of the year, then all foreign financial accounts–even an account with a $0 balance (as long as the account was open)–must be reported.

      • Mike says:

        I am also slightly confused with the new rule.
        For example, on July 1st, I had $20,000 in account 1 and $2,000 in account 2.
        Then On August 1st, I had $50 in account 1 and $4000 in account 2.
        From what I understand, I would have to report the amounts from July 1st, even though the balance was higher in account 2 on august 1st?


        • Russ says:

          To determine if you have to report accounts, you must look at your aggregate balance on a day. Once you determine you must report accounts, all accounts must be reported. You report the maximum balance of each account at any time during the year.

          • jes says:

            So, now –

            a) we have to monitor ALL our accounts each and every day of the year, or until we breach the 10K threshold…?

            b) on the new form, we STILL have to identify the maximum balance of each account during the year…

            Great. just great. Sounds easier to just skip (a) and do it like before…

          • Russ says:

            I’m not arguing with you, as your points are well taken. The implied point of what you write–when in doubt, file the FBAR–is correct.

            What this does eliminate (from filing) are the individuals who keep $5,000 in foreign accounts. One day, they move that $5,000 from account 1 to account 2. Today, they don’t have a reporting requirement while last year (for 2012) they would have.

  3. jes says:

    So – previously, if I had 2 accounts, and had 8,000 (max) in one, and 200 in the other, and then transferred say 5,000 to the smaller account (max 5,200), I had to report because the combined maximum would be 13,200.

    Now, I would NOT have to report? (Assuming I used end-of-day balances).

    That’s sort-of relief for us minnows, but – I’d be kind of terrified to NOT report now that I’m in the system…?

  4. Ana says:

    I have a question regarding corporate accounts that are structured as zero balance accounts. Do all zero balance accounts need to be reported or only the pool account that receives the funds daily?

    Last 2 years I was reporting numerous accounts that all had zero balances.

    • Russ says:

      A literal reading of the law says once you must report one account, you must report all open accounts. This would include a $0 balance account. Given the Hom decision, the only safe course of action that I can recommend to my clients is to report everything.

  5. Amir says:

    Do you know what country we should put in for a poker stars account?

  6. Alice says:

    Does my U.S. citizen husband have to file a FBAR to a joint bank account that I transferred from another individual account in my name (I’m a Canadian citizen) into this joint account then transferred out of? The transferred amount would be in excess of $200,000.

    • Russ says:

      You definitely want to speak with a tax professional about this. It would appear that there is not only an FBAR filing requirement, you may have to include Form 8938 with your return (this depends on your residency and the exact amount in the account).

  7. Val says:

    What is the due date for FBAR filing for Tax year 2014. Someone told me it wasn’t due until June 30, 2015.

  8. Ritwik says:

    Thanks Russ, very well explained. I am a novice but normally file my own FBAR. Even I was able to make sense of your post in one go :) So it must be good.

  9. Robert Kelso says:

    For the Highest Balance, is an end-of-day balance? For example, if the beginning balance on 1 July is $8000; a deposit of $3000 and payments totaling $4000 are made that day, the end-of-day balance is $7000. What value would be used (of course, the 30 June end-of-day balance would be $8000.

    • Russ says:

      The rules say the maximum balance at any time. Given that for a bank account there is no specific ordering for deposits and withdrawals, it would be $8,0000 in your example.

  10. Mich says:

    I have signature in a number of employer related bank accounts of a cash pool. there are millions of Euros passing through every day however the balance at the end of day is zero and beginning of the day is zero. What would be reported in this case. The highest amount transiting or the zero balance? Seems odd to report zero.

  11. Mich says:

    Another question. What is the maximum balance in account? Is it the maximum amount that transited through the account or is it the highest balance? For example, I have 2000$ in my checking account I transfer 10,000$ from my savings account to my checking account to pay a bill and the amount of 10000$ leaves my account the same day leaving the same 2000$ as ending balance. Do I report 2000$ or 12000$?

  12. VJ says:

    I have 2 Foreign bank accounts. I deposited $20K in Bank Account A. After a month transferred that $20K to Bank Account B. So when I report the maximum balance for each bank account, i need to report $20K for each account, right?
    Effectively I am reporting 40K as total but I have only 20K in Foreign accounts.

    Is there a way to clarify this on the FBAR filing? Since there is no taxation involved, do we need to worry about this or is this a a normal/expected scenario


  13. Ti says:

    What is the maximum value of a foreign account where I have bonds? Do I have to evaluate the fair market value for all 365 days and use the maximum? or are we allowed to use the value at 31 Dec?

    • Russ says:

      You are supposed to use the maximum during the year. Now, there is a point of ridiculousness, but I would certainly look at each month-end balance at a minimum.

  14. leigh says:

    If I have $9000 total in a bank account and then close that account and subsequently deposit the money in a different account a month later do I need to file Fbar or no because I never had more than $10k on a given day during the year?

    • Russ says:

      An FBAR must be filed if you had $10,000 aggregate at any time during the year. In your example, you never had $10,000 aggregate so the FBAR does not need to be filed.

  15. Mike says:

    Does the $10,000 referred to mean the equivalent of $10k in USD? For example I have just over $10k in Australian dollars for 1 day in bank accounts but in USD it’s equal to around $7500. That is not clear anywhere.

  16. LP says:


    How do I report closing of an account during the year on the FBAR? I see
    an area to select on form 8938 but not on the FBAR. Any other area’s of a
    return I need to report for the closing of these accounts?

  17. LP says:

    Hi Russ,

    Regarding the above question on exchange rates that are on the Treasury Departments website. I used Canada as my example.

    Are those rates averaged over a 12 month period or last 30 days of year? The 2015 rate is 1.3860. Then on the IRS site it shows a rate of 1.329 for a yearly average. Very confusing on which rate to use.


    • Russ says:

      The IRS yearly average annual conversion rates can be used for income tax purposes. The Treasury Department year-end conversion rates must be used for the FBAR (Form 114) and should be used for Form 8938.

  18. LP says:

    Hi Ross,

    1. Do I need to report an account on form 8938 if I had only signing authority or was on the account for security purpose only? I have been reporting but read that I don’t need to report.

    2. Mom passed last summer and she had some stock in a company in Canada that she added my brother and I to her certificate.
    I transferred my part to my brother who is handling her estate. How do I report this on 8938? Do I need to file another form?
    Thanks so much1

  19. LP says:

    Sorry Russ,

    I spelled your name wrong.

  20. Robert says:

    Hi Russ,

    In 2015 I had 2 foreign checking accounts and 1 foreign savings account. I closed the savings account before the end of the year and transferred all the money to one of the checking accounts. Do I still need to report the (closed) savings account in the FBAR?


  21. Eric says:

    Hi Russ,
    I have 2 foreign checking accounts and 1 savings. The savings and one of the checking account are at the same bank. Do I report the total maximum balance between the two accounts on one day? At one point I moved a lump sum from my checking into my savings account so they both had a larger share of my total cash balance at some point during the year but that is different than the maximum if you add the two on one specific day.


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