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What is FinCEN Form 114?

Offshore Account Update

Posted in on March 31, 2017

FinCEN Form 114 is a form that must be filed by certain U.S. connected persons who have an offshore account or who have signature authority on any kind of offshore account. FinCEN Form 114 may be better known as a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). The form must be filed annually by those who have accounts that must be reported.

New Jersey international tax lawyers can provide assistance in determining if you will be required to file FinCEN Form 114 based on your offshore holdings. If you were supposed to file this form in the past but did not do so, you are also at risk of serious financial penalties. You should talk with an attorney to find out what options you have to proactively address your past failure to file before you come under investigation for failure to submit the form.

Understanding the Rules for FinCEN Form 114

If you owe, have interest in, or have authority over any kind of offshore account, you could be required to submit FinCEN Form 114. Offshore holdings that trigger reporting requirements include securities, options, cash value annuities, commodities futures, cash value life insurance, mutual funds, savings accounts, brokerage accounts, checking accounts, deposit accounts, time deposit accounts and virtually all other kinds of offshore assets held by any financial institutions or entities acting as financial institutions.

The key to determine if FinCEN Form 114 must be filed is to determine if the combined balance of any or all of your accounts exceeded $10,000 at any point during the calendar year. For example, if you had three accounts and they each had $4,000 in them, you would have a total combined balance of $12,000 and would have to file FinCEN Form 114 for the year.

You must file FinCEN Form 114 with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the filing deadline is the 15th of April. You should not file this form to the IRS with your standard tax return.  Instead, you can go online to file the form with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. There is a downloadable PDF form at the BSA website that you can obtain. 

Once you have clicked the link to download the form, fill it out in full and provide the required information about your offshore account(s) that you are required to report. You can use that same web page to submit the form.

U.S. authorities have been aggressively cracking down in recent years on accountholders who fail to file their FBARs so you cannot take a chance on not submitting FinCEN Form 114 on time if you are required to do so. Penalties have been imposed for not reporting offshore accounts that actually exceed the value of the accounts. You don't want this to happen.

New Jersey international tax lawyers can assist you with fully understanding and complying with your obligations related to FinCEN Form 114. You should contact attorney Kevin Thorn as soon as possible to get help submitting your form before the deadline and to find out what options you might have available to you if you were supposed to submit this form in the past but failed to do so.


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