The 2021 FBAR deadline may be one of the most important deadlines for Americans abroad. However, not all expats need to file it. This deadline is due to two things: Your foreign financial accounts and reaching a certain threshold as an expat.
What is FBAR
The FBAR is known as the Foreign Bank Account Report. It comes from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network – otherwise known as FinCen.
Essentially, as a US taxpayer living abroad, you’ll need to file an FBAR if you have had at least $10,000 total in all of their foreign financial accounts at any one time during the year.
An example of foreign financial accounts is overseas checking, saving, and investment accounts. They can also be accounts from which you have signature authority over, such as a foreign business account you share with your business partner.
Therefore, we suggest you check your bank account statements every month to determine whether you need to file an FBAR or not. It’s even more important to note that you’ll need to convert your foreign money into US dollars (USD). The FBAR needs to be filed if you have $10,000 and above in all foreign financial accounts.
MyExpatTaxes makes filing the FBAR super easy and affordable. Once you sign up through our app and answer some questions, you can electronically file the form with taxes in as fast as 15 minutes.
When Is the 2021 FBAR Deadline
The 2021 FBAR deadline is October 15 – the automatic extension date for everyone. The original deadline for Americans is April 15 – the tax paying and filing deadline. However, as we said – expats can get an extension, which is similar to getting an automatic extension for filing a tax return.
Last year, we published a breaking news article stating that the FBAR deadline had been pushed to October 31. This came after a mistake the US government made on their website, leading to much confusion from American taxpayers. To make up for the flaw, the government extended the 2020 FBAR deadline.
It’s essential to file your FBAR on time, to avoid unnecessary fines and penalties! Make sure to do so through our app to guarantee professional tax support to confirm your FBAR details and have them confirmed by the IRS.
How To File An FBAR with MyExpatTaxes
With the #1 best selling US tax software for expats, you can quickly fill out an entire tax return, including the FBAR, as fast as 15 minutes.
The first page assesses whether you need to complete an FBAR. Simple questions like whether you have any financial accounts located outside the US and have more than $10,000 total combined from these accounts.
If you don’t quite understand the questions, there are little information symbols (marked with a gray “i”) that explain more when you click on them. If you are unsure whether you need to file an FBAR or not, answer “Yes” to be safe! The penalty for not filing one is about $10,000, so it’s better to file with us than risk fines later on!
If you do need to file an FBAR, the next page gives you the option to file with us or not. If you choose no, we offer step-by-step guidance on filing a 2020 FBAR form, making sure you don’t leave empty-handed.
We require you to add all your non-US financial accounts for tax season 2020 in our software through easy step-by-step instructions.
Once you fill that out, you’re done filing an FBAR!
Want to file the FBAR manually? Follow these steps:
- Download the 2020 FBAR form with Adobe Reader. It’s a PDF that can be saved and finished later.
- Always select your foreign country first when asked for an address. Otherwise, the default setting will require you to choose a US state. Foreign zip codes cannot contain “-” or spaces (i.e., 1234-6120 is entered “12346120 and HK 1234 is entered “HK1234”)
- Calculate the maximum amount in your financial accounts during the tax year. You can use monthly bank statements to identify maximum value or export bank data for the entire calendar year into excel or equivalent tool (i.e., google sheets), calculate and determine the maximum value.
- Check with your employer for other financial account balances, pension, and securities. Or the appropriate party (for other financial accounts). They will help determine these balances. Due to differences in foreign policies and processes, you may not always get the relevant financial statements required by April to file.
- Don’t count yourself when filing the FBAR, and you share a bank account with your spouse, for example. This goes if you jointly own financial accounts with someone else.
You can learn more instructions and helpful tips on our expat tax software app!
As we’ve mentioned, American expats are only required to file an FBAR if all their foreign accounts exceed $10,000 or more at any one time during the year.
There are some foreign accounts that don’t need FBAR filing. These would be government-owned accounts or accounts maintained by the US military.
What foreign financial accounts are eligible for US citizens abroad with the FBAR:
- Bank accounts outside the US
- Foreign life insurance policies with cash value
- Foreign mutual funds
- Pension funds due to working abroad
Make Up Missed FBAR Years
Need to make up missed years of filing the FBAR while filing for the 2021 FBAR deadline? Since FBARS are filed through FinCen and not the IRS, penalties can be as high as $10,000 a year for filing errors or not knowing you had to file.
Fortunately, there is an amnesty option for expats to make up this tax situation. However, you’ll need to use them before the IRS contacts you. The amnesty program is called the Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures.
The Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures are for American citizens abroad who:
– Have not filed a required Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) (FinCEN Form 114, previously Form TD F 90-22.1),
– Are not under a civil examination or a criminal investigation by the IRS, and
-Have not already been contacted by the IRS about the delinquent FBARs
For more personal support and instruction as an American living abroad, do reach out to our friendly and professional tax support team! We’re here to help. Otherwise, file expat taxes with us for 2021!
Posted in Blog, Foreign Bank Account. Tags: american abroad | american expat | American expats | American living abroad | americans abroad | april 15 | Delinquent FBAR submission procedures | expat tax software | expat taxes | FBAR requirements | File expat taxes | File us expat taxes | Financial crimes enforcement network | FinCen | foreign bank account report | Foreign financial accounts | How to file an FBAR | irs | myexpattaxes | october 15 | Tax season 2020 | Tax software | us citizen abroad | us citizens abroad | us expat | us taxes | What is FBAR
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