The FBAR – One of the Joys of Keeping US Citizenship

I got an email reminder from my accountant this morning…. oh joy of joys, it is FBAR time. Just to remind everyone what this is it is a report required of all US citizens living abroad (commonly known as tax evading criminals). I reproduce his email below just so you can see what all is involved in that invasion of my privacy by the US Government…. The bolding is mine…

The Foreign Bank Account Report, or TDF 90-22.1 is due to be received by the Department of the Treasury no later than the 30th of June, 2013. Please remember that the FBAR requires you to present information about all non-US bank accounts, brokerage accounts or life insurance/pension insurance securities accounts in which you have a > 50% financial interest, or over which you have signature authority. This includes: own bank accounts, joint accounts with spouse (regardless of whether you file your spouse on the US return), accounts owned by companies you own > 50% of (including companies you own with your spouse), accounts in the name of your children or relatives where you have signature authority.

Furthermore, if you have signature authority over accounts owned by your employer, you will need to provide the Department of the Treasury the full name, address and US tax ID number, if any of your employer (no other information is required.)

I remind you that though the IRS currently has a policy of amnesty for late filing, they are permitted by law to assess penalties of $10.000-$50.000 for late or noncompliant submissions. The IRS has intensified its interest in foreign financial accounts over the last year with the rollout of FATCA legislation … you can find more information on the FBAR here: http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/FAQs-Regarding-Report-of-Foreign-Bank-and-Financial-Accounts-(FBAR).

The problem is that there aren’t enough US citizens living overseas to influence anyone to change this but it really rankles me that my privacy is invaded and I am treated as a criminal… so much for my rights!!

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