FBAR Electronic Filing is Here (weither you like it or not)

27 Feb

Where have I been? When did all this come about? Now, the ONLY way to file your mandatory FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) is from your computer via the internet!!! What about those people who don’t have a computer? What about those that don’t have internet connectivity? What? Go to an Internet Cafe where someone can easily steal all your private financial information? I suppose the future is now!

To go back a bit, I will describe to you how I found this out. For some reason or other, there I was today, wondering if the time had come that I would be able to electronically file my TD F 90-22.1. I did a search for “e file fbar” and the first web site of the 247,000,000 search results was to the IRS web page which informed that “the Bank Secrecy Act may require you to report the account yearly to the Internal Revenue Service by filing electronically a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114.”

US-FinancialCrimesEnforcementNetwork-Seal.svg

What was this FinCEN? I had never heard of them, so I went to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network home page. It is the first cousin of the IRS — the other arm of the U.S. Treasury, whose mission it is “to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.” Little did I know that all those years that I have been reporting my FBAR to what I thought was the IRS, I have been playing a role in combating money laundering and protecting the national security of the U.S.A. Well, let me tell you, this year, I won’t grind my teeth as I meticulously fill out my FBAR, wondering why Uncle Sam’s money collectors want to know about my measly pension fund and checking account over here in Israel. So electronically file my BSA forms with FinCEN I will, and with a great deal of pride that I am doing my small part for protecting the freedom of America.

And for those of you out there in EXPAT-land, you can access these interactive BSA forms at the FinCEN by merely clicking here and then click on this icon:Download FBAR(FinCEN Form 114)

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