Learned Tax & Insurance Counsel
FBAR refers to Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, that must be filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which is a bureau of the Treasury
Department. The form must be filed electronically and is only available online through the BSA E-FilingSystem website . Who needs to file an FBAR? Taxpayers with an interest in, or signature or other authority over, foreign financial accounts whose
aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2014 generally must file. For more on filing requirements, see Current FBAR Guidance on IRS.gov. The FBAR filing requirement is not part of filing a tax return. The FBAR Form 114 is filed separately and directly with FinCEN.
FATCA refers to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. The law addresses tax non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers
with foreign accounts by focusing on reporting by U.S. taxpayers and foreign financial institutions. In general, federal law requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report any worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities
accounts. In most cases, affected taxpayers need to complete and attach Schedule B to their tax returns. Part III of Schedule B asks about the existence of foreign accounts, such as bank and securities accounts, and generally requires U.S.
citizens to report the country in which each account is located. In
addition, certain taxpayers may also have to complete and attach to their return Form 8938 Statement of Special Foreign
Financial Assets. Generally, U.S. citizens, resident aliens and certain nonresident aliens must report specified foreign financial assets on this form if the aggregate value of those assets
exceeds certain thresholds. See the instructions of this form for
details. The FATCA Form 8938 requirement does not replace or otherwise affect a
taxpayer’s obligation to file an FBAR Form 114. A brief comparison
of the two filing requirements is available on IRS.gov.