FBAR and FATCA Reporting

FBAR and FATCA reporting are separate requirements that make it tougher for taxpayers to hide assets and income offshore.  US persons with an interest in, or signature or other authority over, foreign financial accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during the year generally must file FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts), FinCEN Form 114, with FinCEN separately from the federal return.  US persons, including nonresident aliens with joint return elections, with an interest in specified foreign financial assets and the aggregate value of which exceeds certain thresholds, depending on marital status and presence abroad, are also required to complete and attach to their return, Form 8938 (Statement of Special Foreign Financial Assets), which does not replace or otherwise affect a taxpayer’s obligation to file an FBAR.  Certain foreign pension and retirement plans covered by Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) may be exempted.  Substantial penalties for non-compliance apply.