FBAR United States Definition | FBAR Lawyer & Attorney Minneapolis MN

The United States is defined differently with respect to different parts (and, sometimes even within the same part) of the United States Code. There is a specific definition of the United States for FBAR Purposes. In this brief essay, I would like to discuss the FBAR United States Definition and explain its importance to FBAR compliance.

Importance of FBAR United States Definition to FinCEN Form 114

Before we discuss the FBAR United States Definition, we need to the context in which it is used and why it is important for US international tax purposes. FBAR is a common acronym for the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, FinCEN Form 114. It used to be known under a different name – TD F 90-22.1.

FBAR is part of Title 31, Bank Secrecy Act, but the IRS has administered FBAR since 2001. The IRS primarily uses FBAR not to fight financial crimes (which was its original purpose), but for tax enforcement. In particular, the IRS found that FBAR is an extremely useful tool for combating tax evasion associated with a strategy of hiding money in secret foreign bank accounts.

FBAR’s draconian penalties is what makes this form the favorite with the IRS, but much hated by US taxpayers. The penalties range from a jail sentence to civil willful penalties and even civil non-willful penalties which may exceed a taxpayer’s net worth.

It is precisely these penalties which make it absolutely necessary for US taxpayers to understand when they need to file FBARs. One of the aspects of this understanding is the FBAR United States Definition, which allows one to determine two things. First, the FBAR United States Definition is used to define the United States for the purposes of the Substantial Presence Test. Second, the FBAR United States Definition allows one to classify bank accounts as foreign or domestic for FBAR compliance purposes.

FBAR United States Definition

31 CFR 1010.100(hhh) contains the FBAR United States Definition. Under this provision, the United States is defined as: the States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Indian Lands (as defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act) and the territories and insular possessions of the United States. As of February 3, 2019, the US territories and insular possessions refer to: Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional FBAR Help

If you have undisclosed foreign accounts, you should contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help. We have successfully helped hundreds of US taxpayers around the world with their FBAR issues, and We can help You! Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

2015 FBAR (FinCEN Form 114) Due on June 30, 2016

2015 FBAR is one of the most important tax information returns required by the IRS this year. While the 2015 FBAR is not the most complicated form, it is definitely the one that is associated with the most severe penalties.

2015 FBAR History

The FBAR is an abbreviation for the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (the “FBAR”). The current official name of the FBAR is FinCEN Form 114 (prior to mandatory e-filing, Form TD F 90-22.1 was the name of the FBAR).

Many of my clients are surprised to learn that FBAR is a tax information return with a long history, dating back to the late 1970s. Its origin lies in the Bank Secrecy Act (31 U.S.C. §5311 et seq.) and it was originally meant to combat money laundering. However, after September 11, 2001, the FBAR enforcement was turned over to the IRS and it became a tax-enforcement tool of heretofore unimaginable power due to its heavy penalties.

Who is Required to File 2015 FBAR

The Department of Treasury (the “Treasury”) requires that an FBAR is filed whenever a US person has a financial interest in or signatory authority over foreign financial accounts and the aggregate value of the foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. If you had such a situation in 2015, then you must seek an advice from an FBAR lawyer on whether you need to file the 2015 FBAR.

2015 FBAR Deadline

2015 FBAR must be e-filed with the IRS by June 30, 2016; there are no extensions available – the 2015 FBAR must be received by the IRS no later than June 30, 2016.

Consequences of Failure to File Your 2015 FBAR Timely

If your 2015 FBAR is not timely filed, then it will be considered delinquent and might be subject to severe FBAR civil and criminal penalties, depending on your circumstances. It is also important to point out that an incorrect or incomplete 2015 FBAR will also be considered delinquent with the higher possibility of imposition of the FBAR’s draconian penalties.

Multiple Years of FBAR Delinquency

If you did not file the FBARs in the prior years and you were required to do so, this situation is extremely dangerous (especially in our FATCA-dominated world) and may result in imposition of multiple FBAR penalties. This is why you should seek advice of an experienced FBAR lawyer as soon as possible

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Assistance with Your FBAR Compliance

If you have not filed your FBARs previously and you were required to do so, contact Sherayzen Law Office for help as soon as possible. Our team of experienced tax professionals, headed by attorney Eugene Sherayzen, has helped hundreds of US taxpayers around the world to lower and even eliminate their FBAR penalties. We can help You!

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Individual IRS Tax Deadlines in the Calendar Year 2016

As the New Year festivities are drawing to an end, the attention of hundreds of millions of US taxpayers focuses more and more on its annual US tax compliance in the calendar year 2016. In this brief article, I would like to summarize some of the most important deadlines of the calendar year 2016. Obviously, other calendar year 2016 deadlines may also apply to you depending on your situation; please, consult your tax attorney for a detailed review of your US tax requirements.

January 15, 2016: Form 1040-ES for the final installment of estimated tax payments for the tax year 2015.

February 1, 2016: If you did not make your final estimated tax payment by January 15, 2016, you can still avoid the penalty by filing your 2015 US tax return by February 1, 2016.

April 18, 2016: Three important deadlines fall on this date.

First, due to the fact that April 15 falls on Saturday and the following Monday (April 17) is a federal holiday, the US taxpayers will receive a few extra days to file their 2015 individual tax returns by April 18, 2016.

Second, April 18 is also the deadline for the first installment of 2016 estimated tax payments that should be filed with Form 1040-ES.

Third, April 18 is the deadline for filing the automatic 6-month extension to file 2015 income tax return. The extension is done by filing Form 4868 with the IRS. Remember, the estimated tax liability must still be paid by April 18 (i.e. the extension applies to the return filing deadline, not to the actual income tax payment).

June 15, 2016: this is a dual deadline for US individual taxpayers who reside outside of the United States. First, June 15 is the 2015 income tax return filing deadline for such individuals. Second, if these US individual taxpayers do not yet desire to file their 2015 individual income tax returns, then they can file an automatic four-month extension by June 15, 2016. Similar to April 18 extensions, however, the estimated 2015 income tax liability must still be paid by June 15, 2016.

Furthermore, June 15, 2016, is the deadline for the second installment for 2016 estimated tax payments.

June 30, 2016: FinCEN Form 114, commonly known as FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts), is due for the calendar year 2016. This is one of the most important international tax deadlines and no extensions are allowed.

September 15, 2016: this is the deadline for the third installment for 2016 estimated tax payments.

October 17, 2016: if the filing extensions to file 2015 individual income tax returns were properly filed, these returns will be due on October 17, 2016 (normally, the deadline would be on October 15, but it falls on a Saturday in the 2016 and the deadline shifts to the following Monday).