If you have assets in a foreign account and the total value exceeded $10,000 at any time, you must file the “Foreign Bank Account Report” (commonly called FBAR) by June 28, 2013. The FBAR is an annual information form, filed separately from your federal income tax return. The 2012 FBAR must be received by the Treasury Department by the deadline, not just postmarked by that date. No filing extension is available, and penalties for failing to file are steep. You may choose to file electronically. For details or filing assistance, please contact our office.
If you own foreign investments, you may have an additional federal tax filing requirement this year.
Form 8938, “Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets,” is due April 17, 2012, and is filed as part of your individual tax return. You’ll use Form 8938 to disclose interests in certain foreign financial accounts when your ownership exceeds the reporting requirements.
What are the reporting requirements? They vary depending on where you live and your filing status. For example, say you’re married and live in the United States, and you’ll file a joint tax return for 2011. You’ll include Form 8938 with your tax return when the total value of your reportable assets on the last day of 2011 is more than $100,000, or if the value exceeds $150,000 at any time during the year.
Tip: In some cases, you may also need to file Form 8938 for tax year 2010.
Reportable assets include investment accounts you own that are held in foreign financial institutions, interests in foreign entities, and stocks or securities issued by foreign individuals or companies.
You’ve probably noticed the reporting requirements are similar to the “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (FBAR), a separate return you may already be filing. Be aware the new Form 8938 does not replace the FBAR, which you’ll still need to complete by June 30.
Penalties for failure to file Form 8938 start at $10,000. We urge you to contact us so we can help you evaluate your filing requirements for foreign investments.