Filing The Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) Form Annually

“My question is for Lief, please.

“Lief, my husband John and I got a lot of value from your conference in Nashville last year. Just prior to the conference we were in a car wreck with a 23-year-old drunk driver who left us for dead in our rolled-over car. That experience was the catalyst that helped us to decide to move forward with real plans to move overseas.

“To that end, we traveled to Nicaragua following your Nashville event. After exploring Nicaragua we decided to purchase a lot in Gran Pacifica. We would like to build a house in the next two years. We have a lot of planning to do to make this dream happen.

“First off we want to set up a bank account offshore. This is so we can transfer the money for the lot purchase. I believe I have read somewhere from you that if you set up an overseas bank account that you must complete some forms for the IRS. Can you tell me what we need to do on that? We want to make sure that we don’t get caught with any penalties or violations. Is it something that we have to do once or every year?

“Thanks for helping us with this. You are a great resource to us!”

–Carole W., United States but bound for Nicaragua

As an American with US$10,000 or more in an offshore bank account, you have to file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR). This is FINCen form 114.

The form must be filed online (with the Department of the Treasury, not the IRS) by June 30 of the year following the calendar year you are reporting. You file this form every year you meet or exceed the dollar threshold.

Good luck with your move!

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