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F.B.A.R. Assessment and Collections Processes: A Primer

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With the June 30th deadline fast approaching and the recent cases addressing F.B.A.R. penalties, we thought it would be useful to provide a primer on F.B.A.R. assessment and collections processes.


In general, a U.S. person having a financial interest in, or signature authority over, foreign financial accounts must file an F.B.A.R. if the value of the foreign financial accounts, taken in the aggregate and at any time during the calendar year, exceeds $10,000.

The F.B.A.R. must be filed electronically by June 30 of the calendar year following the year to be reported. No extension of time to file is available for F.B.A.R. purposes.

Failure to file this form, or filing a delinquent form, may result in significant civil and/or criminal penalties:

  • A non-willful violation of the F.B.A.R. filing obligation can lead to a maximum penalty of $10,000. If reasonable cause can be shown and the balance in the account is properly reported, the penalty can be waived.
  • In the case of a willful violation of the filing obligation, the maximum penalty imposed is the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the balance in the account in the year of the violation.