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.

63 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.


  22. Jeda says:

    I opened one or two online time deposit accounts that eventually closed (principal and interest rolled out to main bank account) after a few months. I don’t remember anymore when I opened or how much. I don’t remember getting statements for these. Will these get reported on FATCA and do I still need to include on FBAR?

  23. Jeda says:

    Another question, I started working in the US in May. Do I need to include maximum balances on my foreign accounts before May when I was still not in the US?

  24. Bart says:

    Does aggregate value at any time mean add the balance of each and every account at any given moment of time to see if it exceeds $10K ? Or does it mean add the maximum values of each account during the year and it the total exceeds $10K then it qualifies for FBAR? For example, say I had $6000 in bank A then withdrew it all as cash and closed the account. The next day I open a new account and deposited this $6000 cash in Bank B. At any given moment of time, the aggregate value of all accounts is $6000. Or is the aggregate value of all accounts $12000 because each account had a maximum of $6000 during the year?

    • Russ says:

      It means you take the balance(s) at any moment in time. Let’s say on Day 1 you have $6,000 in account A and you transfer that to account B. It’s the same $6,000. On day 2 you still have that $6,000 in account B, but now you deposit $5,000 into account A; you have $11,000–and even if ten second later you transfer that $5,000 into a US-bank account you have an FBAR filing requirement.

      • Bart says:

        Thanks Russ! That confirms my understanding too. I got confused for a minute because the IRS FBAR handbook is unclear and makes it sound like you aggregate the maximum balances together ( ex, the maximum of account A at any time during the year was $6000, the maximum of account B at a different time was $6000 but the aggregate of the maximums is therefore $12000). OK, so to determine if the $10K threshold was crossed, you need a running daily balance of all accounts and then a formula that adds these balances together each day. And another formula to check if this aggregate value exceeded $10K on any day. My personal banking software does not generate anything like that. How do they expect most people to do this?

  25. Jeff says:

    I can’t find the answer to this simple question anywhere: If I have 5 checking and savings accounts spread across two banks where the aggregate total for all accounts is above $10K, do I file 5 separate FBARS, or 1 FBAR where I duplicate the page (page 3, part 2) 5 times that lists the account? Also: At one bank the savings and checking accounts have completely different account numbers so presumably would be considered two different accounts at the same bank, correct? At the other (a credit union) the savings and checking accounts have the same member number – should this be considered one account or two?

  26. Jeff says:

    Hi Russ,
    I think I figured out part of the answer since I just saw the plus button that adds a second account onto that page 3 part two. So it appears that I file one FBAR with all accounts listed in it. But do the savings and checking accounts at the same bank count as two accounts or one and would it matter if they had the same account numbers or different ones?

    • Russ says:

      The checking account is one account, the savings account is another–even if they have one account number. (I would identify them as “Account #nnnnnn Checking” and “Account #nnnnnn Savings”.)

  27. Bart says:

    Do we need to list on the FBAR only the accounts that were open at the moment in time that the threshold was crossed? Or do closed accounts need listed too if they were open at any time during the year?

  28. Eric says:


    For FBAR reporting requirements, I am a USC retired in the Philippines. I have zero foreign accounts of my own, either jointly held or not.

    Am I required to file a FBAR report for my live-in partner’s bank accounts? Since we are not actually married, would I be considered to have a ‘financial interest’ in said accounts?

    Thanks for your time.

  29. Robert says:

    My US citizen daughter has a joint (50/50) rental security deposit account with her non-US citizen boyfriend. This account is owned by the landlord, with interest paid into the account for the benefit of the tenants when the lease is terminated. Is this account subject to the FBAR filing requirement as my daughter’s interest in it does not exceed 50%. If it is subject to the FBAR, how would it be valued – at 50% or 100%.

  30. sidharth mahotra says:

    I understand that total requirement of >$10000 to be quoted for account. However, suppose I have 2 accounta in which I had max balances if $8K, and $7K at any point of time in year, but current balances are say $4K,$6K, do I specify latter values or the First 2 values. Considering that it may be hard to find maximum during the year, can I just list the accounts and ckeck “maximum value unknown”? does that cause an issue?

    • Russ says:

      I can’t give specific advice to non-clients, but you are supposed to report the maximum balance at any time during the year, not the current balance.

  31. A says:

    Hi Russ,

    Say an account has $5,000 at the beginning of the month and $3,000 is withdrawn, leaving a balance of $2,000. What if during the same month an additional deposit of $5,000 is made, leaving a balance of $7,000? Overall, the account in the end would have $10,000 in deposits, but only showing an initial balance of $5,000 and then $7,000, never a balance of $10k. Would this be exempt of the 10k threshold? Keep in mind I am not referring to multiple accounts or life insurance, just one checking account.

    Thank you for your time!

    • Russ says:

      The FBAR threshhold is based on you having $10,000 aggregate in your foreign financial accounts. That means $10,000 in one or more accounts at the same time. What you describe does not meet that threshold.

  32. NL says:

    Dear Russ,

    I’m wondering about cases in which, say, one spouse has $6,000 in a foreign account and the other spouse has $7,000 in a separate foreign account. Neither of these is a joint account, but U.S. taxes are done “married filing jointly.” Would the totals count as over $10,000 in aggregate in such a case, or should the totals to be considered separately for each taxpayer?

    Thank you for your informative page!

    • Russ says:

      The FBAR is not a tax form. It is an individual form, so each spouse’s foreign account balance(s) are looked at separately, and the filing requirement is separate. In your example assuming these are the only foreign financial accounts neither spouse would have an FBAR filing requirement for the current tax year. Do note that for Form 8938 purposes, the filing requirement is based on the aggregate balance of both spouses (assuming they’re married) regardless of whether they file jointly or separately.

Leave a Reply