April 26, 2016
Basic Information on filing FBAR – FINCEN 2016
Who must file a Form 114 FINCEN FBAR BSA E-Filing:
- Any United States person who had a financial interest in or signature authority over at least one financial account located outside of the United States; and
- the aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year reported.
~ The FBAR (filed on-line) must be received by the Department of Treasury on or before June 30th of the year immediately following the calendar year being reported.
~ The June 30’th filing date may not be extended.
~ We advise reading all of the instructions before starting to fill out the FBAR .PDF form or using their live filing software, because the government software is somewhat cranky.
1. Get your account information together for all foreign accounts – noting the annual maximum $$ amount in each account, Account numbers and mailing addresses for each financial institution.
2. Convert the $$ maximum amounts into US Dollars using the official US Dept. of Treasury Exchange Rate for the last day of that Tax Year … see
Official US Dept of Treasury Exchange rate for MXN Pesos 12/31/2015 (2016 filings):
e.g. $17.1700 MXN Pesos per US Dollar
0.05824111 x ____ MXN Pesos … for 2016 filing (TY2015).
3. Open the Online FBAR BSA E-Filing Instructions and read them: https://www.fincen.gov/forms/files/FBAR%20Line%20Item%20Filing%20Instructions.pdf
4. Open the FBAR BSA E-Filing Website:
5. Select your choice of PDF Form or OnLine Form … and go for it.
Your computer will automatically prompt you to open or save a .PDF file for filing your FBAR FINCEN Form 114 with the US Treasury for the previous tax year. If the .PDF file does not automatically open, then your computer needs a free copy of the latest Adobe Reader: https://get.adobe.com/reader/download/?installer=Reader_DC_2015.007.20033_English_for_Windows&os=Windows%208.1&browser_type=Gecko&browser_dist=Firefox&d=McAfee_Security_Scan_Plus_FireFox_Browser&dualoffer=false
6. Scroll down, and Continue filling out the forms by entering your personal information at the top of the form, ( Part I ).
7. Scroll down to start filling in information on your foreign accounts. and Continue with “Part II Information on Financial Account(s) Owned Separately ”
Use the ” + ” button to add additional accounts/banks for “PART II Accounts Owned Separately”
or … jump down to “PART III Information on Financial Account(s) Owned Jointly”
depending on if you have individually-owned or jointly-owned accounts.
Note: If you have more than one account, be sure to Use the ” + ” button to add additional accounts/banks…
DO NOT accidentally jump from PART II (individual accounts) to PART III (joint accounts), if you have more than one individual account.
Mistakenly jumping and filling out PART III for individual accounts – accidentally/inadvertently starts a “section” that we don’t need – and once I mistakenly entered individual account values into PART III (joint accounts) … I could find NO WAY to delete the “Bank” field or Country / State fields. …
So once a section is started but not used, the US FINCEN software does NOT allow you to file your form electronically (when you think you are done) – because of the “missing fields” of the mistaken section => forcing us to start all over from scratch.
=> enter Zeros (?) or start over?
8. When done adding all Part II accounts, then … Proceed to “Part III – Information on Financial Account(s) Owned Jointly” … and fill out any JOINTLY HELD account information. Skip this step if you have no JOINTLY HELD accounts.
9. Continue to: “Part IV Information on Financial Account(s) Where Filer has Signature or Other Authority but No financial Interest in the Account(s)” and fill out if you have any… or skip if you don’t have any of these. Again, if you accidentally start filling out one, but don’t need to, I found that you can’t ultimately file the Form 114 with empty fields => enter Zeros (?) or start over.
10. Based on your reading of the instructions, continue to “Part V Information on Financial Account(s) Where Filer is Filing a Consolidated Report” and fill out only as necessary.
11. You’re now at Page 7 of 7: YAY !
Fill out the signature section – and Jump back to the top of the Form(s) to
Save a copy on your hard drive,
File your FBAR !
Hope this helped,
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Disclaimer: Note that all of this information is for educational and entertainment purposes only, it is not meant as legal advice. Please contact the governing authorities or competent professionals for real advice.
For more information, also see our Master article on Taxes at: IRS Tax Issues for Americans Living and Working Abroad in Mexico – Master Article for more FBAR and FATCA filing information & requirements.
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry
Read-on MacDuff . . .
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Just filed FINCEN 114 report for 2016 (using the online form) and noticed that when I downloaded a copy of the filed report, all of my contact info that I had entered in the very first page of the online form had been changed to someone else’s info lifted straight out of my contacts file! I called the online form help number via Skype since it’s a US only toll free number, and trying not to scream at them because their online form is apparently able to rifle through my address book in the background while I’m busy filling in blanks, I was informed that the Chrome browser (which I was using because the “system requirements” page says you can use it) is NOT compatible with the online filing system. So heads up everybody and use either Firefox or Internet Explorer.
And triple check all the info you entered before clicking on the Submit button. Had to file an amended report to correct the contact info. In the meantime an innocent NRA is in the FINCEN database probably forever.