FinCEN Form 114: Report of Foreign Bank Accounts

FinCEN Form 114 is one report you’ll want to get to know as an American citizen or Green Card holder living and working abroad. Also known as the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or FBAR, Form 114 is one of the more common documents we file here at H&R Block Expat Tax Services, and it can be a little tricky to understand. Don’t worry though — below we’ll break down the basics of filing Form 114 so you can stay in compliance and avoid penalties.

Ready to file FinCEN Form 114? H&R Block Expat Tax Services makes it simple to file your FBAR online. Get started and file your U.S. taxes and FBAR together now.

What is FinCEN Form 114 (also known as the FBAR) and why does it matter to you?

American abroad filing FinCEN Form 114 online

The full name of FinCEN Form 114 is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Form 114, Report of Bank and Financial Accounts. It’s commonly known as an FBAR. In a nutshell, Form 114 is used by U.S. citizens, residents, and entities to report foreign financial accounts. The FinCEN Report 114 documents a taxpayer’s foreign financial accounts when the aggregate value in those accounts exceeds $10,000. The Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network (FinCEN) requires you provide this information as part of your reporting obligations as an expat.

Unlike Form 8938, which is a related financial assets reporting form, FBAR is a filing requirement even if a taxpayer is not required to file a 1040.

FinCEN 114 filing requirements

It’s important to include information about all your relevant financial accounts. For the purposes of Form 114, the following types of accounts are reportable. If you have a financial interest in or signature authority over accounts such as:

  • Foreign bank accounts
  • Foreign brokerage accounts
  • Foreign retirement accounts or
  • other types of foreign financial accounts

If the total amount of all the taxpayer’s accounts is more than $10,000 at any time during the tax year, then the FBAR is required to be filed. For example, if you held $3,000 in an Australian account, $3,000 in a New Zealand account, and $6,000 in a U.K. account, the total sum of all three accounts would be over $10,000, and you’d therefore have to file an FBAR.

It gets trickier if you have bank accounts with foreign currency. You’ll have to convert all currency to U.S. dollars before calculating your total amount in overseas financial accounts. If you’re off in your currency conversion and mistakenly don’t file, you may be penalized.

How to report foreign financial accounts with FinCEN Form 114

Unlike your tax return, the Form 114 is not reported to the IRS. Rather, the FinCEN Form 114 instructions dictate it be filed separately from the tax return with FinCEN. Or, you can go the convenient route and file Form 114 with a preparation service that has the capabilities to do it, such as H&R Block Expat Tax Services.

Married taxpayers should take note: In some situations, you may be able to submit a joint Form 114. If you own accounts jointly with your spouse, and either neither or only one of you own separate accounts, you are able file jointly. Otherwise, each spouse must file their own.

Here’s how to file an FBAR online with H&R Block Expat Tax Services:

  1. Sign up to file your U.S. expat taxes (either on your own or with the help of an advisor) and select Form 114 as an add-on
  2. Answer questions about your tax situation and financial accounts, then upload your documents
  3. We’ll file your tax return with the IRS and FBAR with FinCEN so you can be on your way

Need help filing FinCEN Form 114? H&R Block Expat Tax Services makes it simple.

Our tax advisors have helped thousands of expats file Form 114. We can help you determine what accounts to report and how to complete the documentation. Ready to file FinCEN Form 114 (FBAR)? H&R Block makes it simple to file your U.S. taxes and FBAR together. Get started now!”