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Published:   |   Last Updated: October 24, 2023

Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)

Do you have financial assets overseas? If it’s a certain kind of account, and worth over a certain amount, you may have to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

person with hand out and an international globe above it

What do I need to know?

The FBAR isn’t sent to the IRS – it’s done electronically with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the Department of the Treasury.

FBAR and other requirements for international taxpayers are complex topics. After you review this page, you may want to discuss your situation with a tax professional or legal advisor.

The IRS has a chart comparing what kinds of assets need to be reported on Form 8938 filed with your federal tax return and which need an FBAR.

You'll need to file a FBAR if

You’re a “U.S. person”

A “U.S. person” means U.S. citizens and U.S. residents, as well as entities including (but not limited to) corporations, partnerships, or limited liability companies created or organized in the U.S. or under U.S. laws; and trusts or estates formed under U.S. laws.

A U.S. resident is an alien residing in the U.S. and you would need to determine and apply the residency tests in 26 U.S.C. section 7701(b). For more details about citizen vs residents, see the IRS FBAR Reference Guide.

You may not need to file if you meet certain exceptions

There are exceptions to the FBAR reporting requirements (for example, for foreign accounts maintained on a U.S. military facility).

They are listed in the line-by-line FBAR instructions.

Some accounts listed on your FBAR also need to be reported to the IRS

There are some foreign financial assets that you may need to report to the IRS on IRS Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, which you file with your federal tax return.



What should I do?

FBAR is a calendar-year report. Currently you must file it on or before June 30 of the year after the calendar year you are reporting (for example, an FBAR for 2015 is due by June 30, 2016).

For tax years that begin January 1, 2016, you must file on or before April 15 of the following calendar year (for example, a 2016 FBAR will be due April 15, 2017).

Extensions: You can’t ask for more time to file an FBAR. When the IRS grants a filing extension for a federal tax return, it does not extend the time to file an FBAR with FinCEN. Note: When the new due date goes into effect (April 15th) for tax years beginning January 2016, you will be able to request a six month extension for filing FBAR.

Exception: FinCEN Notice 2014-1 extended the due date for filing FBARs by certain individuals with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, foreign financial accounts of their employer or a closely-related entity, to June 30, 2016. This notice continues the extension granted in Notice 2013-1 (extended to June 30, 2015) to similarly situated individuals.

If you’re going to file your own FBAR

File the FBAR electronically through FinCEN’s Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) E-Filing System.

Note: Don’t file the FBAR with a federal tax return; you must file it separately as mentioned above.

If someone else is going to file the FBAR on your behalf

If you choose to have a third-party preparer file FBARs on your behalf, you need to fill in and keep a copy of FinCEN Report 114a, Record of Authorization to Electronically File FBARs. You don’t have to submit it with your FBAR, but it must be available to FinCEN or the IRS if requested.


How will this affect me?

If you haven’t filed a required FBAR

As long as you are not under a civil examination or a criminal investigation by the IRS and the IRS hasn’t already contacted you about a delinquent FBAR; you should file any delinquent FBARs according to the normal procedure in the online system.

You need to include a statement explaining why the filing is late.

  • Select a reason for filing late on the cover page of the electronic form or enter a customized explanation using the “Other” option.

If you can’t file electronically, contact FinCEN’s Regulatory Helpline at 800-949-2732 (inside the U.S.) or 703-905-3975 (outside the U.S.) to ask about other ways to file.


The IRS won’t impose a penalty for failure to file delinquent FBARs if you reported your foreign income properly and paid any associated taxes on your U.S. tax return and it hasn’t already contacted you about an audit or request for delinquent returns for the years covered by the delinquent FBARs.

Other accounts

If you haven’t reported income from your foreign accounts (in addition to not filing required FBARs) and you haven’t filed required information returns, there are programs available from the IRS that may help you:


Wait, I still need help.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

You can get help completing the FBAR Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern (U.S.) time, at 866-270-0733 (inside the U.S, toll-free) or 313-234-6146 (outside the U.S., not toll-free). You can also send questions to FBARquestions@irs.gov.

Help with electronic filing questions is available at BSAEFilingHelp@fincen.gov or through the BSA E-Filing Help Desk at 866-346-9478. The E-Filing Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time (except for holidays.)

For questions about Bank Secrecy Act BSA regulations or acceptable alternatives to e-filing, contact FinCEN’s Regulatory Helpline at 800-949-2732 (inside the U.S.) or 703-905-3975 (outside the U.S.).


Did you know there is a Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

The taxpayer Bill of Rights is grouped into 10 easy to understand categories outlining the taxpayer rights and protections embedded in the tax code.

It is also what guides the advocacy work we do for taxpayers.

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