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US Persons' FBAR Filings—Comply to Avoid Penalties

US Persons' FBAR Filings—Comply to Avoid Penalties

A new KPMG US article clarifies common misconceptions around US persons' FBAR obligations.


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Generally, US persons who have a financial interest in, or authority over, foreign financial accounts with an aggregate value of over $10,000 USD at any time during the calendar year must file FinCEN Form 114: Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). US citizens resident in Canada, for example, may be required to fill out these reports if they have authority over a Canadian corporation's Canadian financial account.

The due-date for 2017 FBARs is April 17, 2018; however, a six-month automatic extension to October 15, 2018 is available that does not require affected taxpayers to file a specific extension request. With deadline extensions and reporting exceptions and confusion as to what type of accounts are reportable, it can be a challenge to comply with the various FBAR obligations.

This new article is part of the Mobility Matters series and covers some of the following common FBAR issues: 

  • The definition of a "financial account", which includes bank and security accounts, insurance and annuity accounts with cash value and commodity features, among others
  • The filing deadline for FBAR reports and penalties for reporting failures
  • The current limited exceptions to the annual filing requirements
  • The availability of possible relief from penalties for previous failures to file
  • The scope and current status of proposed changes for future FBAR filings.

The article notes that a US person is treated as having a financial interest in a non-U.S. financial account through indirect ownership. For example, a US person is considered to have a financial interest in accounts of a subsidiary corporation (such as a Canadian subsidiary of a US corporation) in which a US person directly or indirectly owns more than 50% of the votes or value of the shares.

The Mobility Matters series covers issues that affect international assignment programs and globally-mobile employees who work for multinational organizations.

For more information, contact your KPMG adviser.

Information is current to April 17, 2018. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's National Tax Centre at 416.777.8500

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