Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is a way for the US government to identify people who are trying to avoid or evade US income tax by hiding income in foreign financial institutions.

It is entirely legal for US citizens and residents to own and have interest in foreign accounts. However, they have to disclose such accounts to the US Department of Treasury. 

Who must file an FBAR?

If you are a US citizen or green card holder and had more than $10,000 total at any time in one or more foreign account, you are required to file the FBAR with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN). 

Failure to properly file a complete and correct FBAR may be subject to a penalty of $10,000 per violation. However, if you are found guilty of willfully not filing a FBAR, the minimum fine is $100,000 or half the value of the account, whichever is greater. And criminal penalties (jail time) that might also be imposed. 

For more information check the FBAR Reference Guide

Not sure if you are required to file FBAR returns?  Please contact us today for a free consultation regarding FBAR.