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.

8 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:

        Hi,
        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?

        Thanks,

        • 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…?

            AND
            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…?

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