If you have an ownership interest in or signature or other authority over a financial account located outside the US (aka, an “off-shore account”) with aggregate balances of $10K or more-- listen up! Effective in 2017, the Treasury Department has accelerated the date for filing FinCEN Form 114 (from June 30) to April 15th in order to align the FBAR with the filing deadline for individual income tax returns. Again, you do not want to miss this deadline. The penalties are (1) if non-willful, up to $10,000 or (2) if willful, up to the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the account balance; criminal penalties may also apply. The good news is that you can request an extension to October 15th if necessary—but make sure you do so by April 15th!
Note: Despite the alignment of due dates, the FinCEN Form 114 is not attached to your Form 1040 individual income tax return. Instead, it must be filed electronically at http://bsaefiling.fincen.treas.gov. However, don’t forget to consider income generated by your off-shore accounts. This may be taxable on your Form 1040. US citizens and residents are responsible for reporting their worldwide income on their tax returns, whether FinCEN 114 reporting is required or not.
And watch for personal FBAR filing requirements even when the money is not yours. For instance, if you own over 50% of the stock of a corporation that has foreign accounts or if you have signature authority over foreign accounts belonging to your employer, you may have a personal reporting requirement in addition to your corporation having a filing requirement.
And what does FBAR stand for? Glad you asked: Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts