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NEWS FLASH: If you are an American who hasn't filed tax returns, you should consider doing so as soon as possible. The IRS has broadened the Streamlined Program to accept more people. See my blog on this topic here.
If you’re an American living abroad, you already know that you must report your ‘foreign’ (non-U.S.) financial account to the U.S. government annually. For 2012 and prior years, this was done using form TD F 90-22.1, separate from your tax return.
If you have a professional tax return preparer, she would usually prepare this form along with your U.S. return. For 2011-2012, there was even some synergy with this approach, because much of the data for the FBAR would be duplicated on form 8938, which is actually part of the return.
The FBAR form is now obsolete. Instead, each American must file the new form 114 – a process which can only be done online with the ominously-named Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which also administers the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)
Even with this new system, it is still possible to have your preparer file the form. Ultimately, a professional will do the exact same work you would do in completing and filing the form. It is more work to provide the information to a professional than to file it on your own.
Download Forms Reader
You will need Adobe Reader to use this system. If you don’t have it, click here (it’s free): Download the Forms Reader
1. Click the above link for the BSA website. Click the heading "Prepare FBAR" or the link below it that reads "FinCEN Report 114". This causes the FBAR to be downloaded to your computer as a PDF file that you can save.
Related Topics:U.S. Tax; Personal Tax; Financial Reporting; IRS
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