Do you need to file an FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) as an American expat living in the UK or any other foreign country?
You will typically use the FinCEN Form 114 (formerly TD F 90-22.1). Here are the steps to file your FBAR:
Determine if You Need to File: You must file an FBAR if you are a U.S. person (this includes U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and certain non-resident aliens) and you have a financial interest in, or signature authority over, one or more foreign financial accounts, and the aggregate value of these accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.
Collect Account Information: Gather information about your foreign financial accounts, including the account numbers, names of the financial institutions, and maximum values of each account during the calendar year. This information will be used to complete the FBAR.
Online Filing: As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the FBAR must be filed electronically through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) website. Visit the official FinCEN website and use the BSA E-Filing system to create an account and submit your FBAR.
Provide Required Information: Complete the FinCEN Form 114, providing information about your foreign financial accounts, and the maximum value in each account during the calendar year. Make sure to double-check the information for accuracy.
File Before the Deadline: The deadline for filing the FBAR is typically April 15th, with an automatic extension available until October 15th if needed. Be aware that these dates might change, so verify the current deadline with the IRS or FinCEN.
Keep Records: Retain copies of your filed FBAR and any supporting documentation for your records. The IRS recommends keeping these records for at least six years.
Penalties: Be aware of the penalties for failing to file an FBAR when required. Penalties for non-compliance can be substantial.
Since tax and reporting requirements can change, it’s advisable to consult with a tax professional who specializes in international tax matters or seek the most up-to-date guidance from the IRS or FinCEN to ensure compliance with FBAR reporting obligations. Additionally, consider consulting with a tax professional to ensure that you are meeting all of your U.S. tax reporting requirements as an American expat living in the UK.