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More FAQ's Regarding Taxes for American's Abroad (Vienna)

Here are two more FAQ's on tax issues.

Question: Do I have to report a foreign bank account?

Answer: U.S. persons are required to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), Form TD F Protected content , each year if they have a financial interest in or signature authority or other authority over any financial accounts, including bank, securities or other types of financial accounts, in a foreign country, if the combined value of these financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.

Question: I had a foreign bank account and failed to report it. What should I do?

Answer: Requests for an extension of time to file a FBAR are not granted as with tax returns. If you learn you were required to file FBARs for previous years, you should file the delinquent FBAR reports and attach a statement with an explanation of the late filing. If IRS determines that the late filings were due to legitimate reasons late charges may not be assessed.
Penalties are severe for non-compliance with FBAR filing requirements and may include civil and criminal penalties. Civil penalties for a non-willful violation can range up to $10,000 per violation. Civil penalties for a willful violation can range up to the greater of $100,000 or 50 percent of the amount in the account at the time of the violation. Criminal penalties for violating the FBAR requirements while also violating certain other laws can range up to a $500,000 fine or 10 years imprisonment or both. Civil and criminal penalties may be imposed together.

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