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What Must Be Reported On The FBAR

“Kathleen, your information on opening a bank account and filing the FBAR was very informative. I do have one question, however. A CD in, say, Belize, if under US$10,000, would not have to be reported, right? Every article I have read is about bank accounts, but I assume that a CD would fall under that reporting requirement, too. Is that correct?”

–Joan Z., United States

Yes. The FBAR, in fact, is not for reporting bank accounts, specifically, but for reporting all foreign financial accounts. So, yes, a bank CD qualifies, as would a stock brokerage account. In the example you give, as long as the CD in Belize is the only foreign financial account you have and as long its value, including accrued interest, is less than US$10,000 throughout the entire year, then, right, it would not have to be reported on an FBAR.

However, it still would have to be reported if you qualify for IRS Form 8938. More on this here.

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“My question is for Lucy Culpepper.

“Lucy, I rode to the hotel with you in Scottsdale for the recent Retire Overseas event, and we visited some during the conference.

“Anyway, you and Nikki convinced me to visit Europe…Italy and Spain. So I have an airplane ticket and will be leaving for Italy in two weeks. I have contacted Nikki, and she is helping me find accommodation and arrange to look around the Abruzzo province. Then I plan to spend a month around Barcelona. I hope my notes are correct that you recommend this region for good prices. If not, please correct me. Also can you recommend where to look for a short-term monthly rental somewhere near Barcelona?

“I am really excited that I have the opportunity to look around and, eventually, hopefully, find myself a new home.

“It was a new educational experience meeting you and the other presenters at the conference. Thanks for being there.”

–Linda P., United States

Euro-Editor Lucy Culpepper responds:

I certainly do remember you, Linda. And I remember thinking that you were a lady of action who would take no time to get on the trail! And here you are doing just that. Congratulations.

I did recommend that anyone interested in Spain take a look at the Costa Brava (the coast to the north of Barcelona) and the Costa Dorada (the coast to the south of Barcelona, spelled Daurada locally). Property prices have fallen consistently in Spain since 2007 and continue to fall in many places.

The costas of the south (Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca) are where you will find the lowest property prices, but I really do not like either area so I don’t recommend them as a living option. (An investment option, i.e. buying to rent out, maybe.)

Sitges is where you are most likely to find a good one-month rental. It’s also a great place to base yourself. You don’t need a car to move about town, and trains into the heart of Barcelona are frequent and inexpensive.

Good luck with all your travel preparations and safe onward journey to this next phase of your life!

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